Viral outbreak leads to deaths of 6 children at NJ facility

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The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed that a total of 18 children with compromised immune systems were infected with adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell.

The children involved have "severely compromised immune systems" rendering them more susceptible to the virus, the health department said.

The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, which includes a pediatrics center, has been instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends, the department said.

The outbreak is at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell.

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According to a Department of Health release, state officials began investigating on Sunday and continued on Tuesday.

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.

Investigators found minor hand washing deficiencies on Sunday and the Health Department is continuing to work closely with the facility on infection control issues.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, type 7 is most commonly associated with acute respiratory disease. Symptoms can range from a sore throat and fever to intestinal inflammation and neurological disease.

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The center helps educate "medically fragile children", according to its website.

A rep for the center didn't immediately return a message.

The center's administrator says its fully cooperating with county, state and federal agencies and has sought out their medical guidance with respect to the virus.

Local news site NewJersey.com reported that a letter had been sent to parents of patients about an outbreak on 18 Oct, but officials did not confirm any details about the virus until Tuesday.

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