NEW CANAAN, Conn. — The fourth-grader from New Canaan who died unexpectedly over the weekend had tested positive for Type B Flu, according to the New Canaan Advertiser.
Nico Mallozzi, 10, died Sunday after he became ill at a hockey tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., according to multiple reports.
According to Dr. David Reed, New Canaan’s director of health, Nico’s brother is now hospitalized with the same type of flu, the Advertiser said.
The cause of death for the 10-year-old has not been determined.
Nico was a fourth-grader at West School and played hockey for the Norwalk-based Connecticut Roughriders. The team was taking part in The Cup North American Championship over the weekend.
"The tournament committee would like to express our deepest condolences to the family and the entire CT Roughriders organization. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mallozzi family during this very difficult time," said a post on the tournament's Facebook page.
Reed advised families of children who had contact with Nico to contact their pediatrician immediately, the Advertiser said.
Superintendent of Schools Bryan Luizzi notified families across the district of the boy's death.
"It is with a sad heart that I share with you that Nico Mallozzi, a fourth-grade student at West Elementary School, unexpectedly passed away," Luizzi said in a statement.
"Nico was a wonderful, friendly child, known throughout West as the voice of the afternoon announcements that concluded each day. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered."
Nico has a sister and two brothers, who are all students in the New Canaan schools.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Nico’s parents and his family, and we stand ready to support them and the school community in every way possible in the time ahead," Luizzi said.
Jan Murphy, the principal at West Elementary, said the school's crisis team had met to develop a plan to support the students, parents, and faculty.
She suggested that all parents inform their children before they return to class from the long weekend.
On Tuesday, students will go directly to their classrooms and participate in a Morning Meeting. School psychologists, the social worker, administrators and the school nurse will be available for students.
Also, parents are invited to come to West School on Tuesday, from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. to meet with district support staff and ask questions.
The flu season is intensifying across Connecticut, with over 1,000 cases reported and 15 deaths confirmed in the state through Jan. 6, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
“It is not too late to get a flu shot, and some people who are sick with influenza may need to be treated with an antiviral medication,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said.
A flu shot can lessen the severity and duration of the flu, he said. "I strongly recommend anyone who has not yet received the flu vaccine to get one as soon as possible,” Pino said. “It is not too late to protect yourself from what is looking to be a particularly strong flu season.”
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness spread through the air and by direct contact with respiratory droplets. Typical symptoms include sudden fever, aching muscles, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, headache, and eye pain.
Click here for the story at the New Canaan Advertiser.
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