Eighteen cases of adenovirus, six of them fatal, have been confirmed among pediatric residents at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, according to a statement from the New Jersey Department of Health.
"This strain of virus tends to cause outbreaks in centers of communal living and has. unfortunately led to deaths", Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the state's health department commissioner, said on Twitter.
"It can cause pretty much like a common cold type of illness in the majority of the population", Javaid said, adding that if someone's immune system is compromised a minor cold can turn into something much worse. A team was sent back Tuesday.
The department had reportedly been notified by the 227-bed facility of cases of respiratory illness on October 9.
The outbreak is at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell.
The department said that ages and specific medical information about the conditions the children were facing are not being released to protect patient privacy.
The facility's pediatrics center serves newborns to 22-year-olds who are "medically fragile" and provides an individualized program for each child, the center's website said. Still, people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of developing severe illness from adenovirus, according to the CDC.
What's known about Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation?
The center's administrator says its fully cooperating with county, state and federal agencies and has sought out their medical guidance with respect to the virus.
Wanaque was also one of the subjects of a $50 million lawsuit earlier this year, when the estate of a 75-year-old Alzheimer's patient accused staff at the facility, as well as local police, of negligence and recklessness, NorthJersey.com reports.
Inspectors from the Department of Health have visited the center and are providing infection control and cleaning procedures.