New Jersey Boy Dies of Enterovirus

Eli Waller, 4, was youngest of triplets.

Officials say a 4-year-old New Jersey boy who died in his sleep Sept. 25 was killed by enterovirus 68. The child had been kept out of school with what was thought to be pink eye. (Another boy at the school who showed symptoms of the virus is recovering at home.)

Eli Waller was identified Sunday. His father released a statement about the boy, the youngest of triplets:

Eli cared deeply for his sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and his Mom and Dad. He enjoyed soccer with his best friend, and he made incredible progress through his dance classes and in school, thanks to his friends and teachers there. My wife and I simply cannot thank you all nearly enough for the roles you played in Eli’s life. And while our hearts break at his passing, our hearts also overflow with overwhelming gratitude. We want everyone to know how grateful we are for such an outpouring of love and support, not only during Eli’s life, but also after his passing. This is an incredible community in which we live, and we don’t know what to say to you all other than thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts. …

NBC 10 added: “School officials answered questions from concerned parents at Steinert High School in Trenton, New Jersey Sunday at 7 p.m. Officials at the school told NBC10 student attendance would be tracked in the days ahead and that any patterns of respiratory illness across the district would be investigated. They also told parents the school district is planning a deep clean of all facilities and authorizing any overtime for custodians to disinfect every surface.”

[Trentonian | MercuryNBC 10]