Adenovirus Outbreak In New Jersey Kills 6 Children, Sickens 12 More

Pearl Mccarthy
October 24, 2018

A severe viral outbreak at a rehabilitation center in New Jersey has left six children dead and 12 others sick.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, there have been 18 cases of adenovirus among pediatric residents at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, located in Haskell.

An investigation into the outbreak is underway.

Investigators found minor hand washing deficiencies on Sunday and the Health Department is continuing to work closely with the facility on infection control issues.

The facility was instructed not to admit new patients until the outbreak ends, and the Health Department said the number of new cases appears to be decreasing.

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Health officials confirmed the presence of adenovirus 7, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is most commonly associated with acute respiratory disease and can occur at any time throughout the year.

The children were infected with the virus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, which houses a rehabilitation center, a nursing home for elderly people and a pediatrics unit.

The department said it was notified of respiratory illness at the Wannaque Center on October 9, and has been in close communication with officials there since. Some patients develop neurologic diseases, which can lead to death for patients with compromised immune systems.

Wanaque was also one of the subjects of a $50 million lawsuit earlier this year, when the estate of a 75-year-old Alzheimer's patient accused staff at the facility, as well as local police, of negligence and recklessness, reports.

An inspection team from the state health department responded to the facility on Sunday and another team from the agency returned to the center on Tuesday. But the virus, which the department said was particularly associated with communal living facilities, had severely affected children at the facility who had fragile and compromised immune systems.

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