Parents thought little boy who died of enterovirus had pink eye

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NEW JERSEY- As a family honors their 4-year-old son, who died from enterovirus D68, new details are being revealed.

Eli Waller had gone to sleep feeling fine but didn’t make it through the night.

PIX reports the little boy’s parents put him to bed with what they thought was pink eye.

While it’s been detected in at least four people who died, Eli’s case is the first in which authorities have definitively cited enterovirus D68 as the cause of death.

Jeff Plunkett, the health officer in Eli’s hometown of Hamilton Township, New Jersey, explained Saturday that, while the boy was born premature, “he had no other existing condition” and his parents no reason to believe he was direly ill before the virus took his life.

“He was asymptomatic and fine, and the next morning he had passed,” Plunkett told reporters. “So the onset was very rapid, very sudden. And that’s clearly the big difference (between enterovirus D68 and other enterovirus strains).”

According to PIX, another child who attended the same classroom of Waller’s is also being tested for the virus.

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