A sixth-grade girl, Chrissy Gabriel, who attended St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School and was a resident of Spring Valley passed away Saturday evening from an infection caused by bacterial meningitis, Health Department officials confirmed. The identity of the specific strain of meningitis is still being investigated.
The girl is believed to have acquired the infection between March 22 and 29. In all 33 individuals who had close contact with her have been placed on antibiotics.
Bacterial meningitis is rare, with an average of 4,100 cases in the United States reported annually, and about 500 fatalities, according to the Center for Disease Control. However, on occasion, meningitis can lead to an outbreak, so Health Departments have been aggressive in controlling the situation.
Parents of children at St. Gregory’s received word of the death early afternoon on Easter Sunday.
Note to parents of children at St. Gregory’s: If your child attended the school and your family has not been contacted, officials said it means your child’s health is not in risk. However, just in case, if your child or other members of the family do not feel well, contact a health professional.