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Bacteria killed 11-year-old boy, summer camp tells parents

Posted by on Jul. 14, 2017 at 6:17 PM
  • 11 Replies

MILFORD, Pa. -- An 11-year-old Bergen County boy who died earlier this week while away at a Pennsylvania sleep-away camp has tested positive for a bacteria that is a precursor to meningitis, according to the camp.

Daniel Beer, of Norwood, died Monday while away at Camp Nah-Jee-Wah, in Milford, Pennsylvania -- which is operated by NJY Camps, based in Fairfield, Essex County.

In an email to parents on Thursday, NJY Camps said Beer had Neisseria meningitidis, a bacteria that can cause meningitis and sepsis, according to the Center for Disease Control.

The email, obtained by NJ Advance Media, said although the state's health department had "previously ruled out meningitis as the cause of death, they have just notified us that a culture tested positive" for the bacteria.

The bacteria is known to be deadly, often leading to infections to the lining of the brain, spinal cord and in the bloodstream. More information on the bacteria is available at CDC.gov.

"We know this diagnosis may come as shock to you, as it did to us," the email from the camp read.

The bacteria typically is spread by people living in close quarters. It is most commonly transferred to others through saliva, like coughing. The bacteria, however, is "not as contagious as germs that cause the common cold or the flu" and "people do not catch them through casual contact" or breathing the same air, according to the CDC.


It said that "anyone who had direct contact (possibility of sharing saliva or spit) with Daniel will be receiving a prophylaxis treatment that prevents infection."

April Hutcheson, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, said she could not comment on any testing conducted on Beer, citing patient privacy laws. However, she said, "There is not an ongoing public health threat or outbreak at that location right now."

Nonetheless, Thursday's email from the camp to parents cited thorough precautions that were being taken to those who may be at risk to prevent any other potential infections.

The camp also said every child who had direct contact with Beer had been contacted to receive the CDC's recommended treatment of a single dose of oral Ciprofloxacin -- an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. 

Beer had shown signs of severe stomach pain and nausea Sunday night and was treated at the camp infirmary. The next morning, when his symptoms didn't improve, he was taken to Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis, New York, where his "symptoms worsened suddenly," according to Leonard M. Robinson, executive director of NJY Camps, in another email to parents earlier this week.

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He ultimately died at the hospital at around 7:30 a.m. on Monday, according to police.

 

3 kids at summer camp where boy died also taken to hospital, cop says

3 kids at summer camp where boy died also taken to hospital, cop says

Three other boys in the same cabin were hospitalized as a precaution and later released.


Though officials say there is no connection with Beer's death and any other campers at this time, three other boys who were sharing a cabin with Beer had shown signs of a stomach illness and were taken to the hospital the day he died, according to police. The boys were later released.

The camp said it would have an infection control specialist at Nah-Jee-Wah to oversee "the treatment to all children and staff who had direct contact with Daniel."

"We know this is alarming news for any parent, but please keep in mind that the medical advice we have received is that most people who come into contact with this bacterium do not get sick," the camp's email to parents on Thursday said.

Family and friends gathered Wednesday for a funeral service at Robert Schoem's Menorah Chapel in Paramus for Beer, who had just turned 11 and would've been going into sixth grade.

Tributes poured in online from representatives for the various extracurricular activities Beer took part in, including a soccer league in Norwood, his Cub Scouts chapter and a swim club.

"Daniel was a very happy student, very smart and loved challenges. He had a lot of friends and a great sense of humor," Norwood Public School District Superintendent Lisa Gross said.

He is survived by his parents Jill and Sam and his brother, Ethan.

 

Anyone with further health questions can contact the Pennsylvania Health Department at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).

by on Jul. 14, 2017 at 6:17 PM
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Replies (1-10):
SeanandNoahsmom
by Dawn on Jul. 14, 2017 at 7:06 PM
1 mom liked this
This is just so tragic, and very scary as I have 2 boys this age. The boy's family will be in my prayers. May he RIP.
Ms.KitKat
by on Jul. 14, 2017 at 7:10 PM
I just can not imagine sending your child off to camp for a summer of fun and then ending so tragically.

I wish this article detailed more about what kind of meningitis .

Young adults are being encouraged to get the menB vaccination . I wonder if it's that newer strain .



Quoting SeanandNoahsmom: This is just so tragic, and very scary as I have 2 boys this age. The boy's family will be in my prayers. May he RIP.
squeekers
by Silver Member on Jul. 14, 2017 at 7:12 PM
I thought Meningitis inoculations were required for camp?
UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Jul. 14, 2017 at 7:13 PM
My DS is 11.
SeanandNoahsmom
by Dawn on Jul. 14, 2017 at 7:13 PM
1 mom liked this
I am thinking, given how fast it claimed his life, that he wasn't vaccinated yet, or it is the new strain. I cannot even begin to imagine his parents pain.

Quoting Ms.KitKat: I just can not imagine sending your child off to camp for a summer of fun and then ending so tragically.

I wish this article detailed more about what kind of meningitis .

Young adults are being encouraged to get the menB vaccination . I wonder if it's that newer strain .



Quoting SeanandNoahsmom: This is just so tragic, and very scary as I have 2 boys this age. The boy's family will be in my prayers. May he RIP.
MissAndree
by Ronita on Jul. 14, 2017 at 7:46 PM
What a tragedy. So sad for the little fellow and his family.
MissAndree
by Ronita on Jul. 14, 2017 at 7:50 PM
Also, I had a bacterial meningitis when I was a young kid. 6 or 7. I will never forget how scary that particular hospital stay was, because it was very long and my mom and dad were seperated and she could not stay with me the majority of the time like she usually did for my hospitalizations. She had to go home and take care of my 3 sisters. I still have my Raggedy Ann doll that my mom had made for me though.
Moniker
by Silver Member on Jul. 14, 2017 at 9:52 PM
Mine too :(

Quoting UpSheRises: My DS is 11.
la_bella_vita
by Bella on Jul. 14, 2017 at 9:58 PM

Heartbreaking : ( 

Ms.KitKat
by on Jul. 14, 2017 at 10:10 PM
1 mom liked this
You must have been so frightened !

Children are typically not hazed until 10 or 11.

I wonder if that's what happened to this little boy .

I also wonder though how he contracted it .


Quoting MissAndree: Also, I had a bacterial meningitis when I was a young kid. 6 or 7. I will never forget how scary that particular hospital stay was, because it was very long and my mom and dad were seperated and she could not stay with me the majority of the time like she usually did for my hospitalizations. She had to go home and take care of my 3 sisters. I still have my Raggedy Ann doll that my mom had made for me though.
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