HAMILTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey pre-schooler is dead after suffering an unidentified illness, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will test to see if the now-infamous enterovirus D68might have been the cause.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, parents at the Yardville Elementary School in Hamilton, New Jersey, were shaken and saddened Friday. Health officials said a 4-year-old who attended the school for pre-school died early Thursday at home.
“Everybody wants to know – what? What happened?” said parent Alissa Reinhardt-Swayze. “I think that’s what is going to ease everybody’s mind.”
“I believe our principal is doing everything she can, and it’s just a tragedy,” said parent Fiona Elliott. “You know, it happened, and I’m comfortable with my kids in school, and they’ll be going again on Monday.”
The 4-year-old boy was identified in a call to parents from the school as Eli Waller.
Health officials said they have sent samples to both the state and the CDC to determine whether the enterovirus caused the child’s death.
They are also taking other precautions.
“I just thought it was prudent, along with superintendent, to clean and sanitize that child’s classroom, just as a preventative measure; as a calming measure,” said Hamilton Township Health Officer Jeff Plunkett. “We try to protect everyone, just in case it was a respiratory virus.”
Students were moved out of the classroom and into another location for their lessons.