When Eli Waller's parents put him to bed on the night of Sept. 24, he was feeling fine. But when they went to wake him the next morning, the Wallers found their 4-year-old had died — from what they later learned was enterovirus 68.
A medical examiner revealed that Waller died from brain and lymph node swelling, which were a direct result of the respiratory virus. Though Waller is the first child to die from enterovirus 68, a 10-year-old in Rhode Island died from a staph infection that was associated with the disease. Since its recent discovery, the virus has affected more than 500 people throughout the United States. Parents should be on the lookout for cold-like symptoms and severe coughing, especially in children with asthma.