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6 children dead until now in virus outbreak at N.J. facility



A virus outbreak killed six children at the Wanaque Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Haskell, health officials said Tuesday, prompting an immediate order to shut down the facility for new patients.

The Department of Health reports 18 cases of adenovirus among pediatric residents in the medical center of northern New Jersey, which, according to official figures, are "very sick children," some of whom are ventilators and trachea.

"This is an ongoing outbreak investigation, department spokeswoman Nicole Kirgan said in a statement." A departmental team is in the facility today and an inspection team was also there on Sunday. The Sunday's team found minor hand washing shortages and the health department continues to work closely with the facility on infection control issues. "

She said the facility remains closed to new patients until" the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance "

It is unclear when the virus broke out, and a letter dated October 1

8 was sent to parents of patients warning them of the outbreak, with officials from the Department of Health initially failing to confirm earlier this week that one of the infected children had died or currently being treated for the virus

While the adenovirus is a typical mild disease that mimics flu and cold-like symptoms, it may occur

"Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus (# 7) medically affects this outbreak sensitive children with severely weakened immune systems, "said Kirgan It is all linked to diseases in community life and can be more serious. "

Calls and e-mails to the medical facility remained unanswered.

The Wanaque Center is a 227-bed, for-profit institution that works with "medically fragile children," according to its website. It also serves as an adult nursing home and rehabilitation center for short and long term care.

Health experts say it's even less common for people to die from adenovirus.

"Adenovirus can cause more fever and more bronchitis or wheezing than a rhinovirus, for example, but most people are well," Dr. David Cennimo, an assistant professor of infectious disease in the field of medical pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. "In rare cases, this is deadly."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adenoviruses are typically transmitted from one infected person to another:

  • Close personal contact (touching or shaking hands) [19659014] Coughing and sneezing
  • Touch Object or surface with adenoviruses on it, then touch your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Spencer Kent is available at skent@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent . Find Find NJ.com on Facebook.

Ted Sherman can be reached at tsherman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL . Facebook: @ TedSherman.reporter. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

        
        
    


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