Student may have died from meningitis

February 8, 2008 7:24:11 PM PST
Parents, students and relatives are mourning the loss of an 8-year-old boy who died within 24 hours of feeling sick.Health officials say 8-year-old Ernesto Valasquez complained of neck and arm pain on Wednesday. His fever shot up to 106 degrees. The third grader died later that day.

School officials began notifying parents and students about the sudden death.

Eyewitness News' Lauren DeFranco spoke to the school superintendent.

"We sent out a general phone call to all of our parents to reassure them we had already contacted parents specifically we knew who had children that could've had contact," Susan Agruso said.

Out of 700 students, Suffolk health officials have narrowed it down to two dozen who might've had close contact with the victim.

Bacterial Meningitis is a severe infection that effects the brain and the spinal cord.

For more information on meningitis, Click Here.

Some students are already taking antibiotics as a precaution.

A Massapequa High School senior and a counselor at a Queens parochial school died of meningitis in January. Health officials believe none of the cases are connected.