Parents asked to monitor family's health

The following is a statement from the Columbus Health Department:

It is with great sadness that we inform our community of a recent death of a 4 year old child.  We offer our sincere condolences to the family.

Public Health is working with healthcare providers in response to the death of this child.  Although rumored that this child died of meningitis, this is not the case. 

Should any member of your family develop signs or symptoms such as fever, sore throat, vomiting, or a flat red rash or skin blisters, please contact your physician and inform the doctor that your child or family member may have been exposed to a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus (GAS).  

GAS normally causes mild illnesses, such as sore throat and/or a mild skin infection, but can also cause more serious sickness like rheumatic fever or pneumonia.  On rare occasions, a more lethal form of GAS can invade a person's body and cause serious and life-threatening infections.

At this time, there is no need for children or adults to receive any medication to prevent illness due to possible exposure.  As always, it is important to monitor your family's health as you normally would.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact your physician.  Further information is available at