Detroit school closes for week after flu outbreak, kindergartner death

Health officials closed a Detroit school to deep-clean the building after a flu outbreak among students led to an abnormally high number of sick kids the past few weeks. 

Along with the wave of illnesses was reported death at Marcus Garvey Academy after a kindergartner died, the Detroit Public Schools Community District confirmed, though it's unclear if the child died from the flu.

"Tragically, last week one of our kindergarten students at Marcus Garvey passed away. At this time, the medical examiner has not determined the cause of death," the district said in a statement.

The school's statement also added that students were exhibiting high rates of fever and vomiting. 

"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. 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.

Marcus Garvey Academy will reopen on Monday.

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A pediatrician told FOX 2 that it was "a bit unusual" that cases of the flu were being reported at such a high rate.

"Now that said, you can see flu really any time of the year.," said Dr. Kevin Dazy with Children's Hospital of Michigan. "I don't think it's necessarily surprising, but it's a reminder we have to be washing our hands, be careful of reporting symptoms kids have, so it's not spreading rapidly from child to child."

Last summer, health officials eyed with caution as rates of flu, RSV, and COVID-19 became a triple threat of sickness that climbed during the fall and winter.