Reporting Lisa Cilli
HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) – The Broward County Health Department has confirmed a Hollywood first-grader died from bacterial meningitis.
Without specifically naming 7-year-old Henry Buchanan as the person who died, Dr. John Livengood, Epidemiology Director at the Broward Health Department, said blood cultures show the bacteria Neisseria Meningitidis which can cause meningitis, was found in the blood work of the deceased.
Dr. Livengood also stressed there is no additional risk to the general public.
Henry Buchanan, a first-grader at Beachside Montessori Village School in Hollywood, died last week.
School officials on Thursday contacted parents of students who were in close contact with Henry and all of those close contacts have received antibiotics to prevent spread of the bacteria, according to the health department. Dr. Livengood also said Monday it’s not known how Henry got the bacteria.
Bacterial meningitis is an inflammation of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The illness is contagious and can be fatal if not treated right away. It is not as contagious as the flu, but still can be easily spread through close contact with an infected person via coughing, kissing and sneezing, according to the CDC.
For those who wish to pay their final respects to Henry, there’s a visitation scheduled Monday at 4 p.m. at the Levitt-Weinstein Memorial Chapel in North Miami Beach at 18840 W Dixie Highway. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at the Little Flower Catholic Church, at 1805 Pierce Street, in Hollywood.
Friends of Buchanan, who was an avid Miami Heat fan, reached out to the team to see if they could do something special in his memory. The team did just that when they showed his picture on the big screens at the AmericanAirlines Arena before Sunday’s tip-off against the Dallas Mavericks.
They also invited the Buchanan family to attend the game as their guests.