NEW CANAAN, CT (News 12 CT/WSFB/CNN) – An otherwise healthy fourth grader from Connecticut died when a severe case of the flu turned into pneumonia, doctors say.
Nico Mallozzi, 10, was in Buffalo, NY, with his family for a hockey tournament over the weekend, but he didn’t play in any games because he was feeling sick.
After Nico’s parents rushed him to the hospital, the 10-year-old died Sunday morning.
Doctors say the boy had a case of the flu which caused a pneumonia complication that lead to sepsis and death.
“This sort of rapidly fatal event is rare, particularly in a young, otherwise healthy person,” said Dr. Michael Parry, the head of infectious diseases at Stamford Hospital.
Nico’s elementary school, where the boy was the voice of the afternoon announcements, is providing grief counselors for classmates and teachers.
“Whether he was grabbing kids outside to get together to play a football game or in the hallways or in the library, everyone in the building knows Nico, knows who he is and just loved him,” said Dr. Bryan Luizzi, the school superintendent.
On Tuesday, it was learned Nico’s brother was also hospitalized after showing flu symptoms, but he’s showing signs of progress and is recovering.
Local health officials say anyone who had contact with Nico or his brother should talk to their doctor about taking anti-viral medication.
The school system is also doing everything it can to prevent this strain of flu from spreading to other children, including additional cleaning in the school buildings.
A GoFundMe page set up in Nico’s name has raised more than $100,000 in just two days.
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