First news reports out:
State probes unexplained death of Kings Park boy, 8
October 15, 2009 By MICHAEL AMON. AND MATTHEW CHAYES.
The unexplained death of an 8-year-old Kings Park boy at Stony Brook University Medical Center has sparked a state Department of Health probe, authorities said Wednesday.
The boy - identified as Sean Weisse by a family member - was taken off life support Sunday, three days after being hospitalized with symptoms of fever, nausea and a sore throat, said Claudia Hutton, a health department spokeswoman.
"There is no reason to believe the hospital did anything except provide the best medical care," Hutton said. "Any time a child dies unexpectedly, it is of great interest to us."
The probe is not aimed at Stony Brook's pediatric intensive care unit, the subject of state scrutiny for past quality of care issues, Hutton said. She said a hospital inspection team was investigating it as "an adverse event."
Stony Brook staffers have conducted blood and spinal fluid tests but have not determined the cause of death, Hutton said, adding that doctors believed the fatal illness was viral. More tests are scheduled on the spinal fluid taken at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, where the boy was first taken after becoming ill, Hutton said.
There will be no autopsy at the family's request, Hutton said.
"Mysterious deaths do happen and there are times when you cannot get all the answers that you want," Hutton said. "I don't know how certain, in the end, a cause of death will be."
Sean, a third-grader at Park View Elementary School, is scheduled to be buried Thursday after a funeral Mass at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Kings Park. The boy's parents, Steven and Kelly Weisse, asked that donations be made to the Special Education Parent Teachers Association of the Kings Park Central School District. They declined interview requests.
Health authorities sought to assure the public that Sean did not die from a reaction to a flu vaccine shot last week, a claim posted this week on several Internet message boards and blogs.
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Hutton said the boy was given a regular seasonal flu shot in a private physician's office, but results from blood and spinal fluid tests show that it is "extremely unlikely" that the vaccination caused his illness later.
"There is always a very remote chance, but it is so remote that it is almost a scientific certainty that it is not vaccine-related," Hutton said. "It is just a very sad family tragedy."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fatal reactions to flu shots are rare.
At a wake in Kings Park Wednesday night, friends and family remembered a smiling boy who loved skateboarding. His skateboard was placed near his coffin amid flowers and photographs.
"Every picture he has a big grin on," said Kerry Leo, a family friend from Kings Park.
Counselors were on hand this week at Park View Elementary to help students and faculty, said Susan Agruso, superintendent of the Kings Park Central School District. "This is a profoundly sad time for our community," she said. "Our sincerest sympathies go out to the student's parents, family and friends."
Caution, Caution, Caution... this is a rumor that I am reporting. Let's not jump to any premature conclusions.
But since it is a rumor that I have now heard from multiple sources so I am putting it out there so that it gets some attention and is either corroborated or debunked.
Yesterday this was posted by an anonymous source on a public message board:
8 Year Child dies after getting H1N1 Vaccine in NY
8 year old child who just recieved the H1N1 vaccine at STONYBROOK Hospital in New York dies after recieving vaccine. The child who was a 3rd grader at Park View school in Kings Park New York( My sister's sons classmate ) with no undelying conditions, perfect health. I wonder if it will even make the news. Please spread the word you or your children are not Guinea Pigs. Tell everyone before it is too late.
I also got word of private discussion to the same effect by someone else in this community.
I have checked and found no mention of this in the media.
This has begun circulating on Face Book. Before this becomes internet gospel, hyper hysteria, or becomes buried, (or crushes some poor family that has lost a child do to something else) this needs to be vetted and public health officials need to be contacted on this.
Of course today is a holiday.
If you are in this community, please check in and offer any corroborating or debunking so that we can get a better picture of what has happened.
Update: Facebook entry by a local mom:
I know the boy, the family. Thats why I posted the other day not to get your kids the flu shot. This was an extreamly rare situation. The boy had a dormant virus that was stimulated by the flu shot. Even then his odds were 99:1 to survive. This was just very tragic case. Either way, I will never get the flu shot for me or my family."
Another post on a message board:
"I happen to know this little boy, as I am from Kings Park. He did not receive the H1N!, it was the reguar shot and he had a reaction to the egg in it. "
Another post on the initial thread:
The funeral home is Clayton Funeral Home, Kings Park, NY, claytonkingspark.com and the wake is Tuesday and Wednesday.
To clear up some of the misinformation that has been posted on here please know that he received the seasonal flu vaccine not H1N1, and he died from GBS - Guillain-Barre Syndrome- a paralyzing syndrome that can be triggered by a vaccination.
This has been a devastating and horrendous tragedy for this wonderful loving family. All of us who know them are praying for them.
So it is likely that a child has died following the flu shot, either seasonal or H1N1, as people are piping up with confirmable details. But the details of the stories don't match.
Officials need to get ahead of this story. Media.... you got wind of this yet?