Could H1N1 be to blame for a Ardmore student's death?

By: Shelby Levins Email
By: Shelby Levins Email

ARDMORE, OK -- The H1N1 Virus has been confirmed throughout many communities, but Tuesday night many Ardmore parents called KXII-TV concerned that an elementary school student may have died from complications to the H1N1 Virus and bacterial meningitis.

Ardmore CIty Schools, along with area health officials, are remaining very tight-lipped about this particular case. Both school and medical professionals say they must maintain strict confidentiality, because it involves a young student who became very ill. But health experts and school administrators tell us there is no cause for parents to panic.

The Ardmore City School board began their regularly scheduled, Tuesday night board meeting a little differently. They opened with a prayer for a family they say is going through a crisis.

Several parents and sources throughout the community say that family is mourning the loss of a loved one, a Charles Evans Elementary School student who reportedly died from bacterial meningitis after contracting the H1N1 virus.

"I cannot confirm any of that, what I can tell you is that we have been in very close contact with the Carter County Health Department, who in turn has been in very close contact with Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City,” Superintendent Dr. Ruth Ann Carr explained after the board meeting.

Dr. Carr says she's received no written confirmation from any health authority whether the young boy had been diagnosed with H1N1 or bacterial meningitis. However, Dr. Carr says other Charles Evans Elementary School students or parents need not panic.

"Again, let me reassure you that we have talked about several situations with the health department given those rumors and ask if those were true, if the rumors were true, would there be any danger to other children here at Charles Evans, and they have told us no,” Dr. Carr stated.

Dr. Dereck Landis is a pediatrician with Mercy Memorial. He says while his office has seen more than 100 cases of Influenza A – which includes seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus - in the last six week, most cases remain mild and do not pose extreme health risks.

"A certain percentage of kids are going to have an outcome that we'd rather not deal with, but that’s a very low number. A very, very high percentage of kids recover quickly and go back to their normal activities,” Dr. Landis explained.

Dr. Landis says common complications with any type of flu include dehydration and/or phenomena, not bacterial meningitis infections. The pediatrician says it's about using common sense, but if your child contracts the flu and their health appears to worsen, see your doctor.

"I would look for signs of dehydration, lack of urination in a small child; I would look for a changing cough that has become a very deep productive, violent sounding cough and certainly a change in fever,” Dr. Landis explained.

Dr. Carr says the school district continues to monitor any student or staff health issues, and adds if parents have any questions or concerns to contact their student’s school or the Carter County Health Department so their fears can be put to rest.

Dr. Carr says the Ardmore Schools will have additional counselors on hand if children at Charles Evans need help coping or just need to talk, and the district is already putting extra cleaning efforts in place, like wiping down desks and door knobs. In addition, the Carter County Health Department will be offering H1N1 nasal mist vaccines at the Ardmore Middle School on Friday.

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  • by me Location: ardmore on Oct 23, 2009 at 11:25 AM
    If this is the best healthcare in the country..then GOD HELP US, we are going to need it and accordint to FOX. HAHAHAHAH. thats a joke
  • by Becky on Oct 23, 2009 at 10:17 AM
    I have to agree with Ardmore Parent. I don't think this situation (or any other with the school district) has been handled very well.
  • by citizen on Oct 22, 2009 at 09:27 PM
    Ardmore's people like you that like to keep the pot boiling!
  • by Ardmore Parent Location: ardmore on Oct 22, 2009 at 03:57 PM
    Amanda it is a conspiracy if you have a group of people that are supposed to be taking responsibility for our childrens well being while at school lying to the public. Have you not seen the interview with Dr. Carr or seen the way the media is talking in circles? How stupid do they think we are? Most of us knew of the situation before the school even acknowledged that there was a situation and now instead of telling the truth and laying it all on the table Dr. Carr chooses to "neither confirm nor deny" what is going on. Look at what other schools around the country have done in this situation. The first action should be full disclosure, instead Dr.Carr pulls the faculty together to lie and deny or else.. Is this really the person who should be making decisions for our childrens safety? My sources are reliable and confidential, but I will say this, there are many and all are employed by Ardmore Schools. Why would I cite my sources when there jobs have already been threatened?
  • by holycow on Oct 22, 2009 at 01:55 PM
    Maybe it's time for people to quit looking for someone to blame and step up and take care of themselves. It's not the school or anyone else's job to take care of you. Stop blaming others for every wrong in society. Put up or shut up!!!
  • by Amanda Location: Ardmore on Oct 22, 2009 at 12:27 PM
    Ardmore Parent...I'd like sources cited to know where you got your information from. I have kids at CE and one of my kids were affected by the sudden loss of this child, and I know what happened from not only different teachers, but from the principals and Dr. Carr herself. I am no supporter of Dr. Carr, but on this one, she's done what she is supposed to. It's ridiculous that anyone here is calling on some sort of conspiracy. A little boy lost his life and no one could have seen that coming. There's nothing to discuss with the public.
  • by Anonymoose Location: Great White North on Oct 22, 2009 at 12:11 PM
    to: mom Location: ardmore on Oct 21, 2009 at 09:31 PM. But mom, according to FOX and several posters on these boards, we have the best health care system in the world!!!!!
  • by quit complaining on Oct 22, 2009 at 08:58 AM
  • by Anonymous on Oct 22, 2009 at 08:56 AM
    also some parents who cannot afford to take off work with the extensive illness of the H1N1 FLU will probably take their children back to shool to early so their going to fight several battles here. The schools are doing everything they can you parents just make sure you teach your kids at home also to wash their hands and use proper hygeine,ITS THAT SIMPLE OR GET SICK. We all know that children can be dirty little people so use your best judgement and quit paniking, most of you haven't vaccinated your children with the flu like your supposed to and most don't want to vaccinate your kids with the H1N1 virus so these two different flus are going to be around as long as parents are careless and always looking for a scapegoat.
  • by b Location: ardmore on Oct 22, 2009 at 04:52 AM
    Come on people, what do you want the school to do? They are tight lipped because they are not at liberty to discuss confidential medical information of a minor with the general public. However, if you read the article, it states they have been in contact with the Health Dept, who has been in contact with Children's Hospital, and the school has made sure that the situation with this child does not pose a risk to students attending school at this time. There's nothing to get to the bottom of! What do you want the school to do? I mean all they can do is issue a statement demanding that all children exhibiting illness to NOT attend school and to encourage you to vaccinate your children. Is that not already something you should know?
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