School closed after student death, bacterial meningitis suspecte - WNEM TV 5

School closed after student death, bacterial meningitis suspected

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Arthur Eddy Academy students and staff coping with a tragic loss.

A fourth-grader died Saturday. She was hospitalized with a suspected case of bacterial meningitis.

John McKellar is the director of the Saginaw County Health Department.

"Once we knew of the death, the school determined not to have classes today so that they could be sure to properly sanitize the common areas," McKellar said.

He said they were notified of the possible case of meningitis last Friday.

They immediately told school officials who then sent a letter home to parents as a precaution.

"We still don't have confirmation of exactly what the cause of death was and whether in fact it was meningitis," McKellar said.

Saginaw Schools Superintendent Nathaniel McClain released a statement:

"Our utmost priority is providing parents with the assurance that we have followed all procedures for the health and safety of our children.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased child."

Health officials said the exact cause of the child's death has not been confirmed. And while she showed symptoms of bacterial meningitis, they leave open the possibility that she could have died from other causes.

"The bacterial meningitis diagnosis is made by culturing spinal fluid and blood and so far those cultures are not growing bacteria which suggests it's not bacterial meningitis but they'll monitor that for the next couple days just to be sure," McKellar said.

Arthur Eddy Academy is planning to be open on Tuesday. Grief counselors will be available.

>>LEARN MORE: What's the difference and symptoms of bacterial and viral meningitis?<<

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