Detroit elementary school temporarily closed as illness sickens two dozen, kills one


(DETROIT) — A Detroit school will remain closed until Monday after dozens of students began experiencing flu-like symptoms and a kindergartner died of flu-like symptoms, the Detroit Public Schools Community District told ABC News.

An elementary student at Marcus Garvey Academy who was sent home last week after experiencing flu-like symptoms later died on April 25, Chrystal Wilson, the assistant superintendent of communications at the Detroit Public Schools Community District, told ABC News.

The following Monday, a number of students at the school began showing flu-like symptoms, including fever and vomiting, and the school advised that those students be sent home.

School and district officials then alerted the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Detroit Health Department that students were experiencing symptoms of an illness. Health officials advised that they were unsure what the symptoms could be attributed to, Wilson said.

By Tuesday, there were less than 25 students experiencing symptoms so health officials advised that the school be closed and a deep cleaning be conducted, Wilson said.

While students were advised to visit their physicians for a diagnosis, health officials believe the illnesses may be related to the H flu, or H. influenzae — a bacteria that can cause a variety of infections in infants and young children, Wilson said.

The infections can be mild, such as ear infections, to serious, like bloodstream infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms vary based on the kind of infection but can include fever, chills, vomiting and headaches.

The medical examiner’s office has not yet determined the student’s cause of death, according to Wilson. The medical examiner’s office did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

The school has conducted a deep cleaning in classrooms, as recommended by health officials, according to Wilson.

Marcus Garvey Academy will reopen on Monday but students experiencing symptoms are being asked to stay home, Wilson said.

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