Marion County student dies after arriving to school sick

By Christina Jensen, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2017, 12:42 PM EDT

Students are back in one Marion County school Thursday after one of their classmates died after falling ill.  

  • Marion County student dies after arriving to school sick
  • Student attended Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks
  • School district said student was not wasn’t feeling well, went to the health clinic and 911 was called

The district said the student became ill shortly after arriving at Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks Wednesday morning. 

The district could not release details surrounding the child's illness, age or gender surrounding his death due to health privacy laws.

However, the Marion County's Department of Health did release a statement regarding the incident:

"We are limited in the type of information we are able to share about the nature of the child’s illness due to health privacy laws," said Christie Gergins with the Department of Health. "What I can share is that when the Department of Health learned about the student, our epidemiology team spoke with hospital, nursing and infection control staff at the hospitals and the treating physician about the nature of the child’s symptoms. 

"We further conferred with state epidemiology experts. Based on the symptoms, we are not recommending treatment for anyone who had been around the child." 

Meanwhile, Kevin Christian with Marion County Public Schools said the student’s bus was taken out of rotation and it was cleaned thoroughly.

The bus driver was told to stay home as a precaution.

The school was also cleaned before students came back today.

"We had a student here at Horizon Academy who wasn’t feeling well, he went to the health clinic and at some point they called 911," said Kevin Christian, Public Relations Officer with Marion County Public Schools. "The student was taken to a local hospital and unfortunately died when he was transferred to another hospital."

The district is warning parents to see a doctor if their child has a fever, stiff neck, is nauseous or confused.

School officials are hoping this will prevent widespread panic.

"We are not going to cause mass panic or spread rumors," Christian said. "We are not going to do that, but we will spread as much information as we can as quickly as we can. We as a school district we were concerned enough that we felt like we wanted to share some information to parents and that’s why we sent that message to parents in a phone call and email as well." 

The boy’s name will not be released until his family has been notified.

Grief counselors will be at the school Thursday helping children cope with the loss of their classmate.

The school said it will excuse absences Thursday and Friday.

About ten grief counselors have seen more than 20 children.