NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Health Department has confirmed enterovirus D68 infections in children throughout New York City and Mayor Bill de Blasio, a mild asthmatic himself, says doctors are watchful for D68, especially keeping an eye on asthmatics with particularly severe symptoms.

“Parents with children, particularly children with asthma or other respiratory problems, it’s crucial to make sure those children get the flu shot. It’s time to get the flu shot in general, but it’s particularly important as a defense against this virus and any other vaccines that parents are not up-to-date on, this is a good moment to get those done,” he said.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, Mayor de Blasio said if your children are suffering from unusual or more sustained symptoms of cold or cough, it’s important to seek medical help right away.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Friday that enterovirus D68 claimed Eli Waller’s life, a young boy from Hamilton, New Jersey. It’s still not clear how the preschooler contracted enterovirus D68, but the death is believed to be the first linked to the virus.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, enterovirus D68 resembles the flu, but is much more dangerous. And on Monday afternoon, another mother at the Yardville Elementary School as waiting to find out if her son, who has been sick for three weeks, might also have the virus.

“It was scary,” said parent Tabatha Vassey. “I hate seeing my son sick, and I was trying to figure out — dear God, how can I take this from him and let me deal with it myself?”

Vassey said her 4-year-old son, who has been hospitalized and released, came down with flulike symptoms on Sept. 19 – days before Eli died. She said her son, whose name will not be released, got sick at his father’s house.

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