• The cause of the child's death remains unclear
  • The school has been seeing an "unusually high rate of flu-like symptoms"
  • Symptoms observed among students include fever and vomiting

A school in Detroit, Michigan, has closed temporarily following the death of a young student. This comes amid an increase in flu-like symptoms among students at the institution.

The kindergartner at Marcus Garvey Academy passed away last week, the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) said, as per 7 Action News.

"This week, the school has experienced an unusually high rate of flu-like symptoms including student fevers, and vomiting, namely at the early grade levels," the DPSCD noted in its statement.

The exact cause of the child's death remains unclear. But in response to the illnesses and the child's death, authorities have opted to shut the school down temporarily to make way for deep cleaning.

"We have been actively communicating with the Detroit Health Department about these cases and we have mutually agreed that the best course of action right now is to close the school until Monday to allow families to monitor their children's symptoms and to deep clean the school," the school district said.

Officials reportedly held a moment of silence for the child at the beginning of a district meeting this week.

What exactly has been causing the illnesses remains unclear. This comes as the country is recovering from a particularly harsh 2022-2023 flu season, which has been described by some experts as one of the worst flu seasons in years.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that there were 26 to 52 million flu illnesses, 290,000 to 640,000 flu hospitalizations and 19,000 to 56,000 flu deaths in the U.S. from Oct. 1, 2022, to April 22, 2023.

But with symptoms like vomiting, it's also possible that the cluster of illnesses may be associated with a gastrointestinal (GI) tract illness, Dr. Partha Nandi said in an interview with 7 Action News. Though he noted that in cases like these, it's quite difficult to really "see what's going on."

Dr. Nandi advised parents to be on the lookout for prolonged symptoms in their kids, such as signs of lethargy and dehydration.

"Anything that's out of the ordinary, you want to be able to go to the doctor right away," Dr. Nandi added. "Don't wait."

Representational image (School classroom)
Representational image (Source: Pixabay / DeltaWorks)