Officials with the New Jersey Department of Health have confirmed that six children have died and 12 others were sickened after an adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell.
"Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus (7) in this outbreak is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems", a health department statement provided to Fox News said.
Adenoviruses usually just cause mild illnesses.
This strain is associated with disease in communal living facilities, the officials said.
As its investigation continues, the Center has been instructed not to admit new patients.
"The facility promptly notified all appropriate government agencies when the virus was initially identified, including the New Jersey Department of Health, the Passaic County Department of Health, the Communicable Disease Service and the Centers for Disease Control", the statement says.
State officials were first notified of respiratory illnesses at the center on October 9, officials said.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an email that no one was available to comment on how unusual it is for six adenovirus deaths in such a population of patients.
The department said that ages and specific medical information about the conditions the children were facing are not being released to protect patient privacy.
Officials at the Wanaque Center earlier confirmed "some cases" of the virus were found in its pediatric unit.
It also offers an adult nursing home and rehabilitation center for either short-term or long-term care.
A rep for the center didn't immediately return a message.
Local news site NewJersey.com reported that a letter had been sent to parents of patients about an outbreak on 18 Oct, but officials did not confirm any details about the virus until Tuesday.
Inspectors from the Department of Health have visited the center and are providing infection control and cleaning procedures.