A seventh child has been confirmed dead as the result of a severe adenovirus outbreak at a North Jersey pediatric facility.
The New Jersey Health Department on Tuesday confirmed that six patients at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation had died and 12 others were infected.
The adenovirus mimics cold and flu-like symptoms and infected 18 youth with compromised immune systems.
The 227-bed facility has been instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance.
The facility notified the state's health department of respiratory illnesses Oct. 9.
An inspection team on Sunday found minor hand-washing deficiencies, the department said. A further investigation is ongoing.
The strain (adenovirus #7) is affecting medically-fragile children with severely compromised immune systems, the department said. The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe.
Gov. Phil Murphy expressed his condolences Tuesday in a statement.
“I am heartbroken by the news that several children have lost their lives in an adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, and pray for the full recovery of the other children impacted," he said.
"I have been briefed by Dr. Elnahal, who has assured me that the Department of Health has recommended vital measures to enhance protections against the further spread of infection and will continue its active on-site surveillance.
"I am confident that the steps being taken by state and local officials will minimize the impact to all those who remain at the facility, including patients and employees.”
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