A New Jersey preschooler who died more than a week ago had enterovirus D-68, the United States Center for Disease Control confirmed Friday night.
The 4-year-old attended Yardville Elementary School in Hamilton Township and died at home on Sept. 25.
“Our thoughts remain with the family at this very difficult time,” said Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd. “While the child has tested positive for EV-D68, the cause of death has not yet been determined and it is unclear if EV-D68 played a direct role or was a contributing factor in his death.”
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The Mercer County's child's death is the first child death involving EV-D68 in New Jersey, according to the CDC.
The virus has been sweeping across the country over the past two months infecting nearly 300 people in 40 states and the District of Columbia, according to CDC stats. New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware are among those states.
The virus is transmitted through close contact with an infected person or touching contaminated surfaces. The CDC says good hygiene is the best defense and recommends washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, disinfecting surfaces and avoiding kissing, hugging or sharing cups or utensils with sick people.
A call center will be open for questions and concerns regarding EV-D68 from 9 a.m. until noon. The number is 609-586-0311.