11-Year-Old Boy Dies From Bacterial Infection While at Camp

A New Jersey boy died while away at summer camp last week just days after celebrating his 11th birthday.

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(Photo: Twitter / @jcomm_blogfeeds)

Daniel Beer had been attending Camp Nah-Jee-Way in Milford, Pennsylvania when he began complaining of stomach issues. He was treated at the camp infirmary before being taken to the hospital when his condition worsened.

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The boy was pronounced dead at Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, New York. According to NJ.com, his parents received an email last Thursday stating that Daniel had Neisseria meningitidis, a bacterium that can cause meningitis. Symptoms of infection include nausea and vomiting, in addition to sudden fever, headache, stiff neck and confusion.

While meningitis had been ruled out as a cause of death, the email indicated that a culture tested positive for the bacteria.

"We know this diagnosis may come as a shock to you, as it did to us," the email read.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Neisseria meningitidis is known to be deadly, with death occurring in as little as a few hours. The bacterium is spread by people living in close quarters, but is not considered to be as contagious as germs causing the flu or the common cold.

Three other boys who shared a cabin with Daniel also complained of stomach pain and illness and were taken to the hospital the day Daniel died. Those boys were later released.

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In the email to Daniel's parents the camp stated that they were taking measures to prevent further infection and were following medical advice.

"We know this is alarming news for any parent, but please keep in mind that the medical advice we have received is that most people who come into contact with this bacterium do not get sick," the email read.

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"While not considered necessary, we also gave parents of every camper the option to request their child receive prophylaxis treatment. We have the antibiotic available at camp and an infection control specialist at camp overseeing treatment and monitoring everyone for symptoms."

Photo: Twitter / @NBCNewYork