Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead

Faith Castro
October 24, 2018

The New Jersey Department of Health said it is investigating an outbreak of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, New Jersey.

"This strain of virus tends to cause outbreaks in centers of communal living and has. unfortunately led to deaths", Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the state's health department commissioner, said on Twitter.

As its investigation continues, the Center has been instructed not to admit new patients. The health department says "minor handwashing deficiencies" were found at the facility on Sunday. A team was sent back Tuesday.

The adenovirus typically causes mild illness, but the Health Department says the outbreak is severe because it's affecting kids with severely compromised immune systems.

Different strains of adenoviruses can cause a range of illnesses, including common cold symptoms, bronchitis, pneumonia and diarrhoea. It was not clear when the children died, and there was no information provided on their ages.

The outbreak occurred in recent days at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, according to a statement from the New Jersey Department of Health.

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

Wanaque is a residential facility that cares for "medically fragile" newborns, children and young adults, as well as elderly individuals and those requiring rehabilitation.

Serious complications are uncommon, but the CDC notes those with "weakened immune systems, or existing respiratory or cardiac disease" are at a higher risk of severe sickness from adenovirus infections. Messages left with the center were not returned.

A team from the health department is at the facility and an inspection team was there Sunday, as well.

The center's administrator says its fully cooperating with county, state and federal agencies and has sought out their medical guidance with respect to the virus.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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