Boy with no enterovirus D68 symptoms dies of the illness

Eli Waller from Hamilton Township, New Jersey was a delightful 4-year-old who enjoyed making his family and friends laugh and he loved school. Eli stayed home one morning because he woke up with a little pink eye infection and his mother wanted to make sure he was ok. Aside from the redness in his eye, the boy was fine and happy. Little Eli went to sleep and never woke up. He died suddenly in his sleep and the medical examiner determined he had Enterovirus D68.

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His death shocked the entire medical community and the whole country because he had no symptoms. The doctors said his pink eye infection was completely unrelated to the virus and had nothing to do with his death. This is just terrible and absolutely terrifying! Before Eli's death, it was believed that D68 was completely respiratory and presented cold-like symptoms. Clearly this must be a new strain because Eli wasn't sick at all.  

Eli was the youngest of the triplets and he was a very sweet and exciting little boy. He loved his sisters and enjoyed making them laugh. He loved school and was looking forward to a great preschool year in Yardville Elementary School. I just can't believe the way this little boy died; it seems like something out of a science fiction movie. He literally was fine one second and dead the next. He didn't have any symptoms and his family is left without answers. There is no cure for Enterovirus D68 yet and doctors advise that children should wash their hands more often and go to the hospital if they have difficulty breathing. Children with asthma are at a higher risk and should be kept at home.

This is a tragedy and it's every mother's worst nightmare! We have to worry about the flu, Enterovirus D68 and now Ebola. This is crazy! I have to tell you that I'm afraid because my girls are at school most of the day touching everything other kids touch and they probably don't have time to wash their hands. My heart goes out for the Wallers and I hope they find a way to cope with this horrible death. The family, friends and members of the school created The First Day of School Foundation to help kids enrolled in the special education program. This foundation is Eli legacy and it's a beautiful way to keep the memory of that little prince alive.

Image via Corbis

Topics: virus  diseases