Six Children Dead in Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Pediatrics Center

Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead

Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Rehabilitation Center Leaves 6 Children Dead

The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed 18 cases of the virus on Tuesday, saying in a statement that the strain of the virus has been "particularly associated with disease in communal living facilities".

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, who is not involved in the outbreak investigation, agreed that the deaths in this outbreak may be partially explained by the fact that the children had underlying medical conditions that predisposed them to severe infection.

"I am heartbroken by the news that several children have lost their lives in an adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, and pray for the full recovery of the other children impacted", Murphy said.

The strain (adenovirus #7) is affecting medically-fragile children with severely compromised immune systems, the department said. "As a result, facility staff have diligently implemented all available infection control and prevention measures in order to protect the health and safety of the Wanaque Center's residents".

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But the health department said the patients affected are "medically fragile children". The department is not releasing exact ages of any patients because of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and privacy reasons, Kirgan said.

An outbreak of a viral illness has killed six pediatric patients and sickened 12 others at a New Jersey rehabilitation facility as health officials continue to investigate the cause.

Adenoviruses are prolific viruses that can cause a variety of illnesses, including upper respiratory infections - such as colds - as well as pneumonia, gastrointestinal illness, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and even urinary tract infections.

"The NJ Department of Health was notified by the facility on October 9 of some respiratory illnesses", said Donna Leusner, a spokeswoman for the department. "A department team is at the facility today and an inspection team was also there Sunday".

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