A viral outbreak has killed six pediatric patients and sickened 1
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.
Adenoviruses can cause a variety of disorders, including runny nose, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, pink eye, fever, cystitis, gastritis, or neurological disorders. While typically causing mild disease, people with compromised immune systems or existing respiratory or heart disease are at a higher risk of developing a serious illness.
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"Unfortunately, the particular strain of the adenovirus (7) in this outbreak affects medically fragile children with severely weakened immune systems," says a statement from the Department of Health to Fox News. "The strain was particularly linked to illness in community living arrangements and may be more severe."
The statement said that the health department sent a team to the facility to inspect on Sunday and again on Tuesday, and that they found minor hand washing flaws. The department was reportedly notified by the 227-bed facility of cases of respiratory disease on 9 October.
A Wanaque Center spokesperson told ABC 7 that it is cooperating with state investigators to implement infection control.
According to NJ.com, in addition to housing pediatric patients, the facility also serves as an adult nursing home and rehabilitation center for short-term and long-term care.