New Jersey district tracking sick students after child dies of enterovirus D68

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Darla Miles has more from Hamilton Township. (WABC)

A second New Jersey pre-schooler is being monitored for Enterovirus, after tests confirmed a 4-year old boy died from the severe respiratory illness.

The Hamilton Township district is tracking all students who are out sick, especially a pre-schooler from a different class who has been out two weeks.

The district is also cleaning all schools.

Sadness is running deep in Hamilton Township after a New Jersey medical examiner said the virus that has been causing severe respiratory illness across the country is responsible for the death of the 4-year old.

Township health officer Jeff Plunkett said the medical examiner determined the death of Eli Waller was the result of enterovirus D68. Officials said it is impossible to determine how Eli contracted the virus.

The Yardville Elementary pre-schooler died suddenly last Thursday, according to the Health Department. He went to bed Wednesday night with no symptoms, except for a little pink eye. The next morning he was gone. This situation is scary and confusing for other parents about Enterovirus D-68.

"It's so scary, and I don't know anything about it," says Deborah Sanchez.

The state and local officials are doing their best to keep parents up to date. There is also a meeting Sunday night at Steinart High School for parents with more questions.

A second child from Yardville Elementary in the same grade, but in a different class is now being monitored for Enterovirus after being out for two weeks.

ABC reports that there is another preschooler from the same school in a different class currently being tested for D68. That child was admitted to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and has since been released and is recovering at home. The child's samples were sent to the CDC; the results are not available yet.

Some children are especially vulnerable to infection because of pre-existing conditions, though the medical examiner said that was not the case in the New Jersey death.

Township officials said the boy's parents have asked for privacy. They have two daughters.

At least four people in the U.S. infected with the virus have died, according to federal health officials, but they also stress it's not clear if the virus caused the deaths.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Related Topics:
healthenterovirusHamilton Township (Mercer County)
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