NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The New Jersey Department of Health on Monday was investigating whether the death of a 5-year-old girl in North Bergen might have been flu-related.
North Bergen Schools Supt. Dr. George Solter announced Monday that a student had died.
“I would like to express on behalf of the entire North Bergen School District our deepest sympathies for the family of our student, our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with you during this difficult time,” Solter said in a statement.
The lack of answers left members of the community heartbroken, concerned, and with many questions.
“I’m so petrified,” parent Dineen Prevenzano told CBS2’s Jessica Layton. “I don’t want to let her in school tomorrow.”
The district didn’t shed light on the circumstances surrounding the kindergartener’s death, only calling it a “sad day in the North Bergen School District.”
The Health Department said it was not able to confirm a pediatric flu death. Solter said in the statement that during the recent flu outbreak, the district had taken “every precaution possible to make each one of our schools a safe and healthy learning environment for our students.”
The district said during the last three weeks, each school desk has been disinfected with bleach, and door knobs, handles, toilets and sinks have also been disinfected. While the district hasn’t said the child definitely had the flu, Prevenzano says there are too many illnesses going around to send her own daughter back so soon.
“I want to make sure my daughter has her flu shot and keep her home a couple days just to watch out for her and I want to know she’s safe,” she said. “God, this should never happen to children.”
In New York City, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed Monday that a 5-year-old girl from Brooklyn died of the flu over the weekend. She was the fourth child to die from the virus in the city this season.