6 children killed in adenovirus outbreak in New Jersey

Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead

Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead

A seventh child has died from a virus outbreak at a rehabilitation center in Haskell, New Jersey, according to health officials.

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. However, over the weekend, a health department team found "minor handwashing deficiencies" throughout the facility, according to a statement released Tuesday.

"An outbreak investigation, with assistance from the CDC, is ongoing". "The young child's death was associated with the 12 confirmed cases of adenovirus among medically fragile children at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation".

From 2003 through 2016, the two most commonly reported adenovirus types in the United States were types 2 and 3, though four additional types - 1, 4, 7 and 14 - also caused illness, according to a 2017 report from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease of the CDC.

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

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.

The six deaths happened this month, according to New Jersey Health Department spokeswoman Donna Leusner.

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Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that infect the linings of the eyes, lungs, intestines, urinary tract, and nervous system.

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.

In rare cases, among people with weakened immune systems, the viruses may cause pneumonia or inflammation of the brain and the tissues around it. The CDC is now investigating an uptick in AFM cases, with 62 diagnoses confirmed so far this year in 22 states including New Jersey.

The various strains of adenovirus can cause a variety of illnesses, ranging from common colds to neurologic conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A scientific paper cited by the Cdc reported that a 1998 outbreak of type 7 adenovirus at a paediatric chronic-care facility in Chicago killed eight patients.

It's unclear what caused the viral outbreak, which is being investigated by the CDC.

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