Six children dead in virus outbreak at U.S. health centre

Six children dead in virus outbreak at U.S. health centre

Officials say 18 cases of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, Passaic County was confirmed.

The health department confirmed they are investigating a total of 18 cases of adenovirus, including the six pediatric deaths.

Illnesses resulting from this family of viruses are usually fairly minor, although certain strains can cause more severe sicknesses. But the virus, which the department said was particularly associated with communal living facilities, had severely affected children at the facility who had fragile and compromised immune systems.

As its investigation continues, the Center has been instructed not to admit new patients. A team was sent back Tuesday.

A severe viral outbreak at a New Jersey rehabilitation center for "medically fragile children" has left six youngsters dead and 12 others sick, the state Health Department said today.

More information about adenovirus is available on Health Canada's website.

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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).

The department said it was notified of respiratory illness at the Wannaque Center on October 9, and has been in close communication with officials there since. While they typically cause mild illnesses, people with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory or cardiac disease are at higher risk of developing a severe illness.

A health department team is at the facility, and an inspection team was also there Sunday.

Wanaque Center is a pediatric and adult short- and long-term care facility.

PHOTO: Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, N.J, is pictured in this undated image from Google.

A scientific paper cited by the CDC reported that a 1998 outbreak of type 7 adenovirus at a pediatric chronic-care facility in Chicago claimed the lives of eight patients.

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