Marple Newtown School District should be on 'high alert' after child dies from flu complications: Superintendent

BROOMALL, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Marple Newtown School District has issued a warning to the school community after complications of the flu claimed the life of one student.

The school district sent a note out to the community, alerting them of Matthew Wzorek's passing.

"It is with deep sadness that I share the loss of one of our students, Matthew Wzorek, who attended 2nd grade at Worrall Elementary School," said the district. "Matthew was known to have a happy smile and kind heart in class. He loved being with his friends and was always willing to offer assistance to his teachers and peers. To say that he will be missed is an enormous understatement."

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The district says he died Sunday night from complications surrounding the flu.

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A 2nd-grade student at Worrall Elementary School in Delaware County has died from the flu, the Marple Newtown School District announced.



In an update Monday night, Superintendent Tina Kane urged parents to take caution as the incubation period for the virus could take days, and possibly more students could be affected with the same virus.

"In all likelihood, all of the students in this second-grade classroom have been exposed to the Influenza B virus. Furthermore, it is probable that other students or staff members in Worrall have been exposed to the virus. Quite frankly, since the virus is airborne, the entire district should be on high alert for signs and symptoms of the flu," said Kane.

Kane also said Matthew's teacher is also being treated for the flu and will be out of school this week.

"We have also become aware that the student's teacher has influenza B and is being treated with Tamiflu and will be out of school this week," said Kane.



New data released from the Pennsylvania Department of Health show the state is facing widespread flu activity, with 84,654 cases and 54 flu associated deaths.

"We were stunned because it's in our neighborhood, it's only about two miles from us and I just feel for the parents and for the community at large," said Newtown Square resident Jeanne Foti-Cordes.

According to the CDC, 92 children have died due to complications of the flu this year.

Narberth pediatrician, Dr. Josh Rabinowitz, says typically when the flu gets to a child you'll know it.

"The flu comes in pretty strong and hard. If they're well on Sunday and Sunday night boom 104 fever and cough, and flu is in their class, it's a good idea to get checked out," said Rabinowitz.

He says the timing is key to success in fighting the flu.

"When a kid breaks out with a high fever then it's reasonable to be checked out within the first 24 to 48 hours," said Rabinowitz.

According to the district, grief counselors will be on hand at the school Tuesday.

Read the letter to the Marple Newtown School District Community:

"It is with deep sadness that I share the loss of one of our students, Matthew Wzorek, who attended 2nd grade at Worrall Elementary School. Matthew passed away unexpectedly last evening from complications surrounding influenza.

Matthew was known to have a happy smile and kind heart in class. He loved being with his friends and was always willing to offer assistance to his teachers and peers. To say that he will be missed is an enormous understatement.

Loss can be difficult for us to process, especially when it is sudden. We may experience a range of emotions. At this difficult time, we must focus our compassion and support on Matthew's family and the students and staff at Worrall. We have invited district counselors and other support personnel to be at Worrall, as needed, to help our school community with the loss of Matthew.

Please keep Matthew, his parents, and older brother Jacob, in your thoughts and prayers."

Sincerely,
Tina Kane, Ed.D.
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