Six children in a long-term hospital for medically fragile children in New Jersey have died from a severe outbreak of adenovirus, the health department said Tuesday ,

The Wanaque Nursing and Rehabilitation Center "has been instructed not to accept new patients by the end of the outbreak, and they are in full compliance," a statement in the department said.

Twelve other children have also become ill of the outbreak, and the department described it as "an ongoing outbreak investigation."

Adenoviruses are common viruses that affect the lining of the airways, bowels, eyes or urinary tract and are responsible for some colds, coughs, sore throats, conjunctiva and diarrhea.

Usually the diseases are mild, but for people with weakened immune systems, they can be life-threatening.

Health Department staff returned Tuesday after visiting the facility and found "minor hand wash defects." On October 9, the state was informed about respiratory diseases in the center.

Center-identified adenovirus strain # 7 causes disease control, according to Centers for Acute Respiratory Diseases such as Pneumonia, Krupp, and Bronchitis

Over 60 of the center's pediatric patients are ventilators.

"Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus in this outbreak affects medically fragile children with severely weakened immune systems," said the department. "The combination of a poorer strain of adenovirus, along with a fragile population, has led to a more serious outbreak."

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Rowena Bautista, the center's manager, said: "The facility's staff have carefully implemented all available infection control and prevention measures" to protect the health and safety of residents.

Center immediately notified all relevant government agencies, said Bautista, including the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Passaic County Health Department.

"The Wanaque Center continues to work closely with these agencies," she said sought medical advice regarding the virus. "

The center belongs to a private body, Wanaque Nursing & Rehabilitati on whose officers are listed as Daniel Bruckstein and Eugene Ehrenfeld. A message left in her office was not returned immediately.

Children in the center are severely disabled. Some live in coma, and many will never walk or talk. the center is their permanent home, some live from birth to the age of 21.

The Center has a license to care for 92 children and 135 adults, many of whom have neuromuscular and respiratory problems due to genetic problems. Accidents at birth or abuse suffered.

The CDC began in 2014, following a major outbreak in Oregon of the same type in Wanaque outbreaks of adenovirus infection.

Outbreaks of the virus among military recruits were once common, but these diminished after a vaccine was developed. However, the vaccine will not be given to non-military populations. The viruses are difficult to remove with conventional disinfectants and can be detected on surfaces such as doorknobs and infusion stands.

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