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Lindblom closed Wednesday as precaution after student dies of meningitis

Updated: May 7, 2013 10:16PM

Lindblom Math & Science Academy will be closed Wednesday as a precaution after a 16-year-old student died Monday of bacterial meningitis.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement that there wasn’t a meningitis outbreak at the school and there was no immediate health risk to students or staff.

“We were deeply saddened to learn that a 16 year old student at Lindblom Math & Science Academy High School passed away yesterday from a non-contagious form of bacterial meningitis,” Bennett said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.”

Lindblom Principal Alan Mather learned at 2 p.m. Tuesday that a parent found the student dead at home Monday morning, a CPS source said. Parents were being notified Tuesday night that school will be closed Wednesday as officials conduct a thorough review and cleaning.

School officials declined to confirm the identity of the student.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said 16-year-old Savon E. Smith, of the 61000 block of South Washtenaw, died of meningitis. An autopsy performed Tuesday ruled his death as natural.

No other cases of meningitis have been reported at Lindblom, a CPS source said. Based on preliminary reports and a school investigation, officials have concluded there is no outbreak of meningitis or meningococcal disease.

Bacterial meningitis can be treated with antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which urges anyone who thinks they may have meningitis to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light or confusion, according to the CDC.

The student was infected with a non-contagious strain of the virus, a CPS official said. But parents and students are advised to seek medical attention if their child develops any symptoms.

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