The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department reports laboratory results did not confirm that a Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School sixth-grader died from a rare blood infection. The lab results are inconclusive in determinning the cause of death for Natalie Johnson. She died last Tuesday at Carle Hospital after experiencing flu-like symptoms. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said last week that an autopsy showed the 11-year-old from Loda appeared to have died from a blood infection called Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome, caused by a severe bacterial infection.
“The laboratory results received from the Carle Foundation Hospital Laboratory are inconclusive as to the cause of death,” according to Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department Administrator Doug Corbett. The health department’s responsibility now is to follow Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines in relation to deaths ending without laboratory results as to the formal cause of death.
Corbett said in the release that he understands that the lack of conclusive results may cause some worry in the community. The health department has ordered a vaccine specifically manufactured for causes of Waterhouse-Friderichson syndrome, he said. Individuals interested in receiving the vaccine should call the Paxton health department office at 217-379-9281. The vaccine is free of charge.
Corbett also encouraged all parents of school-aged children to have their children vaccinated at one of the clinics providing the H1N1 flu vaccine.