NJ health officials cracking down after 11th adenovirus fatality

David Madden
November 16, 2018 - 12:50 pm
The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation on Ringwood Avenue in Haskell, NJ.

Steve Hockstein/Special to NorthJersey.com


FORDS, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — The New Jersey Health Department has confirmed an 11th fatality from a deadly strain of a viral infection at a critical care pediatric facility in Passaic County. State officials are stepping up efforts to get things under control.

There are now 34 confirmed cases of adenovirus among children at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, where new admissions have been halted. Volunteer physicians will now assist in isolating children with the virus from others. 

RELATED: Mother sues New Jersey facility after 10 children died in adenovirus outbreak

Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal wants infectious disease specialists brought in.

"In this situation, really our only tool against this outbreak is strict enforcement of infection control protocols and reliable practice of those protocols for every single patient every time there’s interaction with staff," Elnahal said.

He spoke at an event in Middlesex County, where N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy was dealing with the aftermath from Thursday’s snowstorm.

Murphy addressed the situation at Wanaque and insisted, as a father, he can be sympathetic.

"There’s a particular strain, in this case strain number 7, which particularly if you have respiratory issues and you’re fragile, it’s potentially deadly, and sadly we’ve seen exactly that," the governor added.

A half-dozen cases of adenovirus are reported in a Camden County facility, but it’s a far less severe strain and not life threatening. Health officials are monitoring that situation.