6 children dead from adenovirus outbreak in New Jersey

The department had reportedly been notified by the 227-bed facility of cases of respiratory illness on Oct. 9

The department had reportedly been notified by the 227-bed facility of cases of respiratory illness on Oct. 9

The state Department of Health on Tuesday confirmed the 18 cases of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell in Passaic County.

Kirgan added: 'The combination of a worse strain of adenovirus together with a fragile population has led to a more severe outbreak'.

The facility, which says it offers "pediatric and geriatric short and long term care in a secure and caring environment", has been instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance, the health department said.

Children are considered to be especially at risk for adenovirus, although most people infected with the virus will only develop mild symptoms. A inspection team sent to the facility on Sunday found some "minor" hand-washing deficiencies, which could have contributed to the outbreak.

Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement that he was "heartbroken" about the deaths and that he had been briefed by the health commissioner, Dr. Shereef Elnahal, who told him that the department is on site and trying to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Some strains of adenovirus can cause the common cold, sore throat, while other, more serious issues, can cause bladder or stomach inflammation.

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According to a Department of Health release, state officials began investigating on Sunday and continued on Tuesday.

Officials say the strain affecting children at the clinic, number seven, is associated with communal living and "can be more severe".

This is an ongoing outbreak investigation.

The facility's pediatrics center cares for patients ranging in age from newborn to 22 years of age, according to its website.

A rep for the center didn't immediately return a message. "The Wanaque Center continues to fully cooperate with these agencies and has sought out their medical guidance with respect to the virus".

New patients are being barred from going to the facility until the outbreak is over.

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