Parents urged to take precaution after Newark student dies

Parents are being urged to put their children on antibiotics following the suspected meningitis death of a Newark first-grader.

Students at Oliver Street School are urged to get antibiotics after student dies from suspected meningitis.

Students at Oliver Street School are urged to get antibiotics after student dies from suspected meningitis. (3/11/15)

NEWARK - Parents are being urged to put their children on antibiotics following the suspected meningitis death of a Newark first-grader.

The Newark school district and Health Department held an informational meeting Tuesday evening for parents and staff of Oliver Street School. They said the 6-year-old girl was in school at the height of her illness. Health officials are urging parents to visit the city’s health clinics or see their private doctors.

Bacterial meningitis is not spread by casual contact. Instead, it is spread by saliva, kissing or sharing food.

“We need to make sure that the kids are not as traumatized if we can, and that the fear is dispelled,” says Dr. Hanaa Hamdi, of the Newark Health Department.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the school is clean and safe for students and faculty. Seven members of the girl’s family are also being treated with antibiotics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will determine if the child's death was in fact caused by meningitis.

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