A look at the virus behind seven deaths at a New Jersey facility
Over the last month, 19 children in a care home in New Jersey have fallen ill with adenovirus infections. Seven of those children have died, and it’s possible that more cases will be confirmed. The investigation into the causes of the outbreak, and the reasons for the extent of it, is ongoing.
The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, New Jersey, provides long-term care for “medically fragile children,” including children in comas or on ventilators. Although adenoviruses usually only cause mild illnesses like common colds or pink eye, they can have more serious effects in people who already have other conditions, which is probably why the viruses have been so fatal in this instance.
“Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus (#7) in this outbreak is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal in a public statement. “The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe.”