NEWARK — Two more premature infants have died after contracting a bacterial infection at one of the worst-rated hospitals in the state.

The two infants died last week after contracting A. baumannii at University Hospital six weeks ago, according to the Department of Health. The state first reported the outbreak last month when a premature baby who had tested positive for the bacteria at University hospital died after being transferred to another hospital.

The latest deaths in Newark come just a few weeks after four more children tested positive for a deadly strain of the adenovirus at a pediatric nursing home in Wanaque. So far, 33 children and one adult have tested positive for the virus, while 10 children have died, according to the Department of Health. A less dangerous strain of the virus has also been reported at the Voorhees Pediatric Facility.

State officials said that the bacterial infection at University Hospital may not be the cause of death for the infants due to "other medical conditions related to being born premature." Two cases of the infection were first reported on Oct. 1, and two more were confirmed later in the month. Of the four confirmed cases, three of the infants have died. The fourth was discharged at the end of October, according to the hospital.

Since the outbreak was reported, the Department has ordered a Directed Plan of Correction, which required the hiring of a full-time certified infection control practitioner, among other steps.

A recent report ranking New Jersey's hospitals for patient safety gave University Hospital a grade of "D." Only East Orange General Hospital received a lower grade.

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