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CPS student dies from meningitis

The 16-year-old Savon Smith passed away Monday at home from a ““non-contagious form of bacterial meningitis.”

CPS released a statement saying Lindblom Math & Science Academy High School will be closed Wednesday while officials conduct “a thorough review and cleaning.”

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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.

A CPS high school is closed today after a Chicago teen died from bacterial meningitis.

Savon Smith, 16, was found dead in his bed Monday morning by his mother, Nicole Smith.

She says the teen complained of headaches throughout the weekend and was very lethargic but he did not show any other signs of meningitis, like a stiff neck or rash.

Smith says she has no idea how her oldest son contacted the illness.

Smith attended Lindblom Math and Science Academy in the West Englewood neighborhood.

The school’s principal, Alan Mather, says he was informed of the death on Tuesday.    He says he decided to close the school Wednesday before the Cook County Medical Examiner was able to confirm which type of meningitis killed Smith.

CPS says bacterial meningitis is not contagious, unlike viral meningitis.   However, crews will be at Lindblom Wednesday to clean and disinfect the entire building.  Mather says it was closed as a precaution and there have been no other reports of students or staff contracting meningitis.

Mayor Emanuel’s office released a statement saying, “The mayor extends his deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Savon Smith, who died this week from bacterial meningitis.”

Parents are reminded to keep an eye out for any meningitis symptoms, including headaches, a stiff neck, rash, sudden high fever, confusion, sensitivity to light and vomiting or nausea.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord.  Bacterial meningitis is rare but can be treated if caught early.

Lindblom Math and Science Academy will be open Thursday.

A Chicago high school will be closed Wednesday after the death of a student from  a “non-contagious form of bacterial meningitis.”

The 16-year-old Savon Smith passed away Monday at home.

Savon Smith

Savon Smith

CPS released a statement saying Lindblom Math & Science Academy High School will be closed tomorrow while officials conduct “a thorough review and cleaning.”

The statement went on to say, “based on preliminary reports and our own investigations, we have concluded that there is no outbreak of Meningitis and no meningococcal disease at this time. There is no immediate health risk to students and staff. There are also no other known or reported cases of meningitis at Lindblom at this time.”

CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett also released a statement saying “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time. There is no immediate health risk to students or staff, but out of an abundance of caution we decided to close the school tomorrow.”

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