UPDATE: 7 children dead, 11 sick in viral outbreak at New Jersey health facility

HASKELL, NJ (Passaic County) – Seven children are dead and 12 others sick following a severe viral outbreak at a nursing and rehabilitation center in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Department of Health learned Tuesday night that another child who was hospitalized due to adenovirus has died.

The child’s death is among 18 confirmed cases of adenovirus among medically fragile children at the facility. The strain of adenovirus seen in this outbreak is associated with communal living arrangements and known to cause severe illness. The Department continues to work very closely with the facility to ensure that all infection control measures are being followed.

The Wanaque Center is a professional nursing home, rehabilitation center and pediatrics center which offers short and long term care in a secure and caring environment. When a resident is admitted to our home, our skilled team of trained professionals meets with the resident and family member, providing a unique and highly personalized plan of care, according to their website.

The facility has been instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance.

A Department team is at the facility Tuesday and an inspection team was also there Sunday. The team on Sunday found minor handwashing deficiencies and the Health Department is continuing to work closely with the facility on infection control issues.

This is an on going outbreak investigation.

Adenoviruses are a family of viruses that often cause mild illness, particularly in young children.

Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus (#7) in this outbreak is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems. The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe.

“I am heartbroken by the news that several children have lost their lives in an adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, and pray for the full recovery of the other children impacted. I have been briefed by 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. I am confident that the steps being taken by state and local officials will minimize the impact to all those who remain at the facility, including patients and employees,” Governor Phil Murphy said.

This story was updated on October 24.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook