The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) reported a severely ill child with a confirmed case of adenovirus died Thursday night in a North Jersey hospital.

Map of New Jersey/ National Atlas of the United States
Map of New Jersey/ National Atlas of the United States

The child had been a resident of the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell and was among 34 pediatric adenovirus cases that have been associated with the current outbreak, including a total of 11 deaths.

At the direction of the Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the Department put out a statewide call for members of the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corp. (NJMRC) to assist the facility in separating ill from asymptomatic patients.

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The Department requested volunteer Respiratory Therapists holding active licenses to assist with pediatric care. In addition, the call also included nurses and nurse aides with experience caring for pediatric populations with chronic illnesses.

On Wednesday, the Department of Health took enforcement action against the Wanaque Center, prohibiting new admissions to the entire facility and requiring it to hire a certified Infection Control Practioner (ICP) and a Department-approved physician or physician practice with board certification in infectious disease. That decision came as a result of serious infection control deficiencies cited in ongoing inspections.

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The curtailment of admissions to the pediatric respiratory unit will remain in effect until Wanaque satisfies the Department’s directive that it separates pediatric residents without symptoms from those who have the virus, including grouping children by lab test status and symptoms. As part of the enforcement action, the Department must approve any requests to re-admit former pediatric respiratory residents.

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The children associated with the outbreak became ill between Sept. 26 and Nov. 12 and have severely compromised immune systems. An additional positive adenovirus case was confirmed late last night. One staff member was also confirmed with the virus but has since recovered.