Student’s death brings awareness to meningitis and symptoms

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The family of a CPS student who died of meningitis is still in mourning today.  Meanwhile, the school he attended got a thorough cleaning and other parents are being urged to be mindful of possible symptoms in their own children.

Savon Smith was described as a smart, energetic  16-year-old with a bright personality.

His mother said he had been complaining of a serious headache over the weekend.

“Monday, when I woke him up for school, he was unresponsive,” said Nicole Smith.  “He died in his sleep.”

The teen was a sophomore at Lindblom Math and Science Academy in West Englewood.  As a precaution, the school closed today for a thorough cleaning.  The principal says it’s been a rough couple of days for students and staff.

“We’ve had counselors and  they’ll be here for the rest of the week,” said Principal Alan Mather.

Meningitis is a highly contagious and sometimes deadly infection that results in the inflammation of tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord.  Dr. Kenneth Fox, pediatrician at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, says it’s unlikely other students at the school were infected, but he says parents need to be on the lookout.

“There’s some important signs parents must recognize and not ignore,” said Dr Fox.

He says symptoms include fever, with a core temperature that is sometime lower than normal, severe headache, a stiff neck, vomiting, a purple rash, and a child may appear agitated or confused.

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