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11th patient dies at pediatric facility in viral outbreak

November 16, 2018 GMT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Health officials say an 11th patient has died amid an outbreak of a respiratory virus at a care facility in New Jersey.

The state health department on Friday confirmed that the “severely ill child” at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation had the adenovirus infection. The youth died Thursday night in a hospital, but further details about the child were not disclosed.

The department says the child was among 34 pediatric cases that have been associated with the outbreak.

Officials say the affected children became ill between Sept. 26 and Nov. 12 and had severely compromised immune systems. An additional positive adenovirus case was confirmed late Thursday night.

One staff member was also confirmed with the virus but has since recovered.

Meanwhile, state Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal is asking respiratory therapists, nurses and nurses’ aides who have experience caring for chronically ill children and are members of the state’s Medical Reserve Corps to volunteer for work at the center. They are needed to help separate sick children from those who have not shown symptoms of the virus, which can cause life-threatening respiratory distress and fevers among those with weakened immune systems.

Elnahal said the logistics of how the volunteers will sign up and be deployed have not yet been completed.

Earlier this week, the state prohibited new admissions to the entire facility and mandated that it hire a certified Infection Control Practitioner and a physician or physician practice board certified in infectious disease.