8-year-old laid to rest, dead from bacterial meningitis

Updated: Monday, February 18 2013, 09:57 PM EST
8-year-old laid to rest, dead from bacterial meningitis story image
BYRON CENTER, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Eight-year-old Ethan Giang, a third grader at St. John Vianney School, was laid to rest today.

The boy, who lived in Byron Center, died Thursday after coming down with bacterial meningitis.

Grief counselors were at the school Friday to talk to students, and the principal tells us the Catholic school community is finding strength in faith.

"The death of a young one is incredibly tragic, no matter what age, but on multiple levels it's even sadder, and that's why I'm overwhelmed by the strength and the faith these teachers, these parents, these children have shown," said Principal Gregg Bruno.

Bruno tells us Giang will be sorely missed.

"Really, really sweet gracious young man. Talented artist, loved by his classmates, loved by his wonderful family as well," he said.

Doctors know it was not a vaccine-preventable strain, nor was it the very dangerous Neisseria strain.

"This is a very atypical situation. Generally people infected with this pathogen do not develop life-threatening meningitis, and the percent of people who are affected with this pathogen, very few of them have any symptoms, any side effects at all," said Dr. Randall Duthler at Metro Health Hospital.

He says there are a number of symptoms to look for.

"The high fevers, difficulty looking at lights, personality changes, difficulty pushing the chin all the way down to the chest...or if as a mom, something just doesn't seem right and you want to go ahead and have that child evaluated, that's what we're here for," said Dr. Duthler.

We're told the classrooms were thoroughly cleaned top to bottom on Friday and the school is ready for students to come back Tuesday.
8-year-old laid to rest, dead from bacterial meningitis
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