Reporting John Slattery
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NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) – A flu scare has hit Long Island following the sudden death of an an elementary school student on Friday.
A 5-year-old girl in kindergarten at the Centre Avenue Elementary School in East Rockaway died from what health officials believe was the flu.
“It’s terrible. I can’t even imagine,” parent Lori Pareti told CBS 2′s John Slattery.
Sources said the child’s health may have been otherwise compromised when she contracted the flu.
WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall reports from Long Island
Principal Timothy Silk said school officials were “very upset,” but added they were trying to keep the day “as normal as possible.”
Psychologists and social workers were on hand Monday as parents tried to deal with the almost incredible news.
Danita Peletiere’s daughter was friends with the little girl who passed away. She called the child’s death “unimaginable for any parent.”
“It’s the most horrible thing anybody could ever imagine happen,” she said.
Health officials said there was no increased risk for fellow students the school.
“We have no reason to believe that the children are at any more risk than they would be just because it’s flu season,” Nassau County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein said.
“We are very upset with what happened to our school building today and it’s going to take a long time to recover,” Silk said.