District U46 elementary student dies of `flu complications` - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

District U46 elementary student dies of `flu complications`

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BARTLETT, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Monday was "rough for everyone" in Elgin School District U46, Supt. Jose Torres said of the news that a Centennial Elementary School student had passed away, possibly from flu complications, the Courier-News is reporting.

The student passed away "possibly due to influenza-related complications,"

according to a letter sent to school families and staff by the DuPage County Health Department.

Neither the school district nor health department would comment on the student's age or identity, although U46 Safety Coordinator John Heiderscheidt said the student's death occurred before Sunday.

Heiderscheidt said additional social workers came to Centennial on Monday to offer grief and loss counseling to students and staff. That includes helping students and staff "talk through and process their feelings, let them know it's OK to grieve, it's OK to cry, it's OK to share," he said.

"It was an unusual and terrible event, and the services that were provided really did help students with coping abilities and move through the day as smooth as possible," he said.

Torres also started the school day Monday at Centennial, he posted on Twitter later.

"We need to remember to get through the day. ‘Today is today. Tomorrow will be tomorrow,'" he tweeted.

Centennial serves 484 students in grades K-6. Nationwide, a total 105 children had died because of the flu this season as of March 22, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Of those, about 90 percent were children who had not received a flu vaccination and 60 percent were children at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications.

U46 and the Health Department will continue to work together to closely monitor flu activity, according to the letter. And the department is recommending "increased awareness and actions to help control and prevent the spread of influenza," it said.

That includes knowing the signs and symptoms of the flu, including fever, cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache and feeling very tired, the health department said. Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick, the health department recommended.

If a child is sick, he or she should stay home at least 24 hours after he or she no longer shows any sign of fever, it said. That will help reduce the number of people who may catch the flu.

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