Bay Port student dies of complications caused by flu and B strep

HOWARD, Wis. (WBAY) – A Bay Port High School student has died of complications caused by a combination of influenza A and strep B.

According to the Howard-Suamico school district, Ava Schmidt died Wednesday. She was a freshman at Bay Port High School.

The district sent the following letter to the school community:

“Dear HSSD families and staff,

It is with deep sadness that we share with you the news of the death of a Bay Port High School student.

Ava Schmidt, a freshman at Bay Port High School, died today, Wednesday December 21, of complications caused by Influenza A. Ava is the daughter of Mike and Katerina Schmidt and sister of Gabby, a seventh grader at Bay View middle school. . Katerina is a teacher at Forest Glen Elementary School.

The District respects the family’s request for privacy during this difficult time and is focused on providing support to those affected by Ava’s passing.

School counselors and school social workers are available to help our students and staff cope with this loss. To support student needs, we will have staff available in Bay Port or by phone at 920-662-7000 on Thursday morning (regardless of possible weather impact on the school day). Classroom teachers in Bay Port, Bay View, and Forest Glen will be sharing an age-appropriate message with students Thursday morning regarding this news. We encourage you to discuss this message with your child at home tonight.

We have some suggestions (linked here) that may be helpful when discussing grief and death with your child. Besides, hospice unit is a non-profit grief counseling organization that will support Ava’s classmates and our students as needed in the coming days, including over winter break.

If you have any concerns about your child’s reaction to this loss, please contact us.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ava’s family.”

A GoFundMe has been created for Ava’s family.

Ava was the second pediatric flu patient to die in Wisconsin this season.

DHS announced the first pediatric flu death earlier this week. They said the boy lived on the western side of Wisconsin.

A pediatric death is defined as anyone under the age of 18.

DHS encourages everyone six months and older to get a flu shot. Early data shows that the vaccine is compatible with current strains. Vaccines can prevent or reduce the severity of flu symptoms, protecting not only you but those around you, and that’s especially a concern with more holiday gatherings ahead. Two out of 3 people in Wisconsin have not received a flu shot.

“Those numbers are several percentage points lower than what we had last year, and to be honest, it’s very disappointing. And this again is one of our meetings, through the media, it’s really pushing the point that we need to vaccinate people. We need to do what we can to stop the spread of the flu. And unfortunately, we’ve seen what complications can lead to because of this particular case, in this particular child,” said DHS influenza surveillance coordinator Tom Haupt.

You can find information about flu vaccines by calling 877-947-2211 or visiting the website.

Local health officials say people should also try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and RSV.

All three diseases have the potential to be serious for young children, immunosuppressed people, and older adults.

CLICK HERE for Wisconsin Respiratory Virus Reports.

DHS recommends these additional steps to stay healthy this season:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth.
  • Stay home and away from others if you feel sick.
  • Avoid being around other people who are sick or have flu symptoms.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and encourage children to do the same.
  • Wear a high-quality mask when around others to prevent the spread of respiratory illness.

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