Parents briefed after student dies from meningitis

Officials from Newark public schools and the Newark Health Department held an informational meeting for parents at the Oliver Street School after a young student

Oliver Street School parents are briefed after a first grade student dies from meningitis.

Oliver Street School parents are briefed after a first grade student dies from meningitis. (3/10/15)

NEWARK - Officials from Newark public schools and the Newark Health Department held an informational meeting for parents at the Oliver Street School after a young student died from meningitis.

At the meeting, it was revealed that a six-year-old girl was at the Oliver Street School while she was sick.

“It makes no sense,” says Juliana Duarte, whose child goes to the school. “They knew on the 4th. [The child] passed away on the 5th. I don’t know. Something is wrong here. I’ll find out because my daughter is here.”

Health officials explained to families that only those who may have exchanged saliva through kissing or sharing food would be at risk of getting sick.

"It is not spread by respiratory route…where you can be in the same room, and you breathe, and you have just the beginnings of the disease, and someone else can pick it up,” says Dr. Marguerite Leuze, the health director for the district. “That is not how bacterial meningitis is spread."

Seven members of the little girl’s family have begun a round of antibiotics due to exposure.

Dr. Hanaa Hamdi of the Newark Department of Health says she will also recommend antibiotics for the deceased student's classmates.

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