Six children dead, 12 sick in viral outbreak at New Jersey facility

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In a statement, the New Jersey Department of Health announced there were 18 confirmed cases of adenovirus in "medically fragile children" receiving treatment at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.

The Wanaque facility has been "instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance", according to the health department.

"The Department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed", the department's communications director, Donna Leusner, said in a statement Wednesday, CBS News reported.

A vaccine for adenovirus type 7 - the strain in the New Jersey outbreak - was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2011 "for use only in US military personnel who may be at higher risk for infection", but is not recommended in children under the age of 17, according to the CDC website.

Adenoviruses usually cause mild illnesses but this outbreak affected medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems.

Numerous children in the facility's paediatric department are disabled, can not walk or speak or are in comas, according to the North Jersey Record.

WCBS 880 has reached out to the Health Department for more information.

Here's what to know about adenovirus - and the particular strain that's behind the outbreak in New Jersey.

The state's health department said Tuesday (October 24) a further 12 patients remain sick.

Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that infect the linings of the eyes, lungs, intestines, urinary tract, and nervous system.

In some cases, adenoviruses can be spread through the stool of an infected person, such as while changing a diaper.

Adenovirus 7 has also been tied to cases of severe pneumonia and death in infants in South America, Adalja said.

The CDC is providing technical assistance to the state. Children at the Wanaque Centre in northern New Jersey are paediatric long-term care residents, with some reliant on ventilators and tracheal tubes.

Wanaque was also one of the subjects of a $50 million lawsuit earlier this year, when the estate of a 75-year-old Alzheimer's patient accused staff at the facility, as well as local police, of negligence and recklessness, NorthJersey.com reports.

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