6 children dead, 12 ill in virus outbreak at New Jersey facility

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NEW JERSEY - Six children have died as a result of adenovirus at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, New Jersey.

Twelve additional pediatric residents at the Center have been infected, according to a statement from the New Jersey Department of Health.

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 timing of the infections and illnesses is not clear.

New Jersey Health Department said it's "an ongoing outbreak investigation" and workers were at the facility Tuesday. A team at the facility on Sunday found minor handwashing deficiencies.

Adenoviruses can cause mild to severe illness, though the serious illness is less common. People with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory or cardiac disease are at higher risk of developing severe illness from an adenovirus infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This outbreak, caused by adenovirus type 7, "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," according to the health department statement.

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