6 kids dead in adenovirus outbreak at N.J. hospital

The department had reportedly been notified by the 227-bed facility of cases of respiratory illness on Oct. 9

The department had reportedly been notified by the 227-bed facility of cases of respiratory illness on Oct. 9

A severe viral outbreak at a New Jersey pediatric hospital has left six children dead and 12 others infected, the state's Department of Health said Tuesday.

A seventh child has died from the "severe" adenovirus outbreak at a New Jersey facility, the state's department of health confirmed Wednesday morning.

People with weakened immune systems are at risk of contracting severe illnesses from adenoviruses.

The strain of adenovirus seen in the 18 children at the facility is type No. 7, and is associated with communal living arrangements. Unrelated Medicare investigations in 2017 and 2016 found "infection control" issues at Wanaque, including failing to properly clean and disinfect surfaces and objects inside the facility, improper storage of syringes and other tools and inadequate hand-washing practices.

The department is continuing to investigate the outbreak.

The 18 patients range in age from a toddler through young adulthood and most are under 18 years old, health department spokeswoman Nicole Kirgan said in an email.

The strain afflicting the children is usually associated with acute respiratory illness, according to the CDC.

"The Department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed". These patients' preexisting health issues, as well as their shared environment, may have facilitated the spread of adenovirus, according to the state health department.

In a statement, the Health Department stated: "The New Jersey Department of Health learned last night that unfortunately another child who was hospitalized due to adenovirus passed away yesterday".

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement Tuesday he was "heartbroken" by the news of the deadly outbreak.

What's known about Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation?

From 2003 through 2016, the two most commonly reported adenovirus types in the USA were types 2 and 3, though four additional types - 1, 4, 7 and 14 - also caused illness, according to a 2017 report from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease of the CDC.

A scientific paper cited by the Cdc reported that a 1998 outbreak of type 7 adenovirus at a paediatric chronic-care facility in Chicago killed eight patients.

Adenoviruses are prolific viruses that can cause a variety of illnesses, including upper respiratory infections - such as colds - as well as pneumonia, gastrointestinal illness, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and even urinary tract infections.

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