6 children dead, 12 sick in viral outbreak at rehab center

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Health officials said the center has been barred from admitting new patients until the outbreak is cleared and "they are in full compliance".

Police cruisers are seen parked near the entrance of the Wanaque Center For Nursing and Rehabilitation, where New Jersey state Health Department confirmed the 18 cases of adenovirus, today, in Haskell, N.J. The outbreak has left six children dead and 12 others sick.

"This is an ongoing outbreak investigation", the department said in its statement.

The strain in the New Jersey outbreak is No. 7 and is affecting "medically fragile" children with severely compromised immune systems, according to the Health Department.

Some strains of adenovirus can cause the common cold, sore throat, while other, more serious issues, can cause bladder or stomach inflammation.

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Adenoviruses are a type of virus usually spread through close contact (like touching an infected surface or shaking hands), coughing, and sneezing, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

According to NJ.com, in addition to housing pediatric patients, the facility also serves as an adult nursing home and rehabilitation center for short- and long-term care.

Adenovirus is a family of viruses that typically impact young children and cause mild illness, according to the Health Department.

After experiencing cases of adenovirus in its pediatric unit, the center notified government health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is fully cooperating with them and has sought out their guidance, the Wanaque center said in a statement emailed by Rowena Bautista, administrator of the center. It was not clear when the children died, and there was no information provided on their ages. "The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be severe".

A team from the health department is at the facility and an inspection team was there Sunday, as well.