Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead

Kenny Tucker
October 24, 2018

At least six "medically fragile" children have died from an adenovirus outbreak at a nursing and rehabilitation center in New Jersey, officials said Tuesday.

New Jersey authorities are working to contain a severe viral outbreak at a paediatric centre that has left six children dead and 12 others infected.

The children involved have "severely compromised immune systems" rendering them more susceptible to the virus, the health department said.

Officials say that this strain is typically associated with a disease in communal living spaces.

A team from the Department of Health is investigating the possible causes of the outbreak.

While there is a vaccine against the strain that killed the children, it is only available to the U.S. military and not available to the general public, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A total of 18 of them became sickened by adenovirus type 7, which can cause acute respiratory disease and conjunctivitis, or pink eye.

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

A scientific paper cited by the CDC reported that a 1998 outbreak of type 7 adenovirus at a pediatric chronic-care facility in Chicago claimed the lives of eight patients.

The Wanaque Center says on its website that it is a for-profit facility that works with "with medically fragile children" from newborn to 22 years old.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement Tuesday that state and local health officials are working to contain the outbreak.

Adenoviruses often cause mild illness, particularly in young children, but people with weakened immune systems are at risk of getting severely sick, according to the CDC.

What's known about Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation?

"A department team is at the facility today and an inspection team was also there Sunday". "The Wanaque Center continues to fully cooperate with these agencies and has sought out their medical guidance with respect to the virus".

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