Medicine

10th child dies amid viral outbreak at New Jersey pediatric center

10th child dies amid viral outbreak at New Jersey pediatric center

The children became ill between September 26 and October 29, leading to 10 children dying and other pediatric patients with severely compromised immune systems fighting for their lives.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control was assisting state health officials with testing for the respiratory virus.

On Wednesday health officials said preliminary tests appear to have ruled out any connection between the Wanaque outbreak and one affecting children at Voorhees Pediatric Facility in Voorhees.

The child was a resident at Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell and contracted adenovirus 7 before October 22, New Jersey Health Department officials said in a news release.

Those who died at the facility range in age from toddlers to young adults, New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal told reporters.

Those with weakened immune systems have a higher risk for the severe disease and may remain infectious long after they recover, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

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The identities of those who died and the affected patients have not been disclosed.

The 227-bed, for-profit facility, which is closed to new patients, has a pediatric center and also cares for elderly residents.

Officials have said there is not a wider public health concern stemming from the outbreak. "Some have been hospitalized, and some are being cared for at this facility", Elnahal said.

The New Jersey Department of Health is working with Camden County health officials and Voorhees' administrators to control the outbreak and identify other cases.

"As a parent and as a legislator, I am absolutely horrified by the details that have emerged surrounding the viral outbreak at the Wanaque Center", said Assemblywoman Joann Downey, D-11th District and chair of the Human Services Committee, in a statement. Other types of adenovirus infections can cause flu-like symptoms, pink eye and diarrhea. State health investigators said the outbreak does not pose a lethal threat to infected patients.