6 kids dead, 12 sick in viral outbreak at NJ rehab center

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The New Jersey Department of Health said it is investigating an outbreak of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, New Jersey.

The state health department is "continuing to work closely with the facility on infection control issues".

The New Jersey Department of Health says a viral outbreak has claimed the lives of six children at a nursing and rehabilitation center in Passaic County.

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. "I have been briefed by [Commissioner of Health] Dr. Elnahal, who has assured me that the Department of Health has recommended vital measures to enhance protections against the further spread of infection and will continue its active on-site surveillance".

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

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. Symptoms can range from a sore throat and fever to intestinal inflammation and neurological disease.

This strain is associated with disease in communal living facilities, the officials said.

Nicole Kirgan, a spokeswoman for the health department, told Daily Mail Online in a statement that the outbreak was caused by adenovirus type 7.

The facility's pediatrics center cares for patients ranging in age from newborn to 22 years of age, according to its website.

A voice mail message left for the director of nursing at the Wanaque Center on Tuesday was not immediately returned.

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.