Six Children Dead, 12 Sick In Viral Outbreak At New Jersey Healthcare Facility

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The New Jersey State Health Department said Tuesday that six children at a long-term care facility for medically fragile children in Wanaque, New Jersey have died as a result of a severe outbreak of adenovirus, and 12 others have become ill. The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation “has been instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance. This is an ongoing outbreak investigation,” the health department said. Children at this center are severely disabled and for most, the center is their permanent home; some will live there from birth through age 21. The center is licensed to provide long-term care for 92 children and 135 adults. The strain of adenovirus identified at the center, No. 7, usually causes acute respiratory illness, such as pneumonia, croup and bronchitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control. According to the NJ state health department “unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus in this outbreak is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems. The combination of a worse strain of adenovirus, together with a fragile population, has led to a more severe outbreak.”