11-year-old boy dies from meningitis at sleep-away camp

An 11-year-old New Jersey boy died as a result of Neisseria meningitis on Monday while he was away at a Pennsylvania sleep-away camp.

On July 10, Daniel " Ae Roo" Beer complained of severe stomach pain and nausea and was transported to Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis, N.Y. in the early-morning hours and died at 7:30 a.m., said Trooper Mark Keyes of the state police in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. 

Daniel was staying at Camp Nah-Jee-Wah, part of the NJY Camps.

Three other boys, who were in Beer's cabin and started showing signs of a stomach illness, were taken to the emergency room and later released.

"Since the tragic passing of our young camper on Monday, we have been working closely with state health officials to determine the cause of his illness and protect the health and safety of all our campers. Late yesterday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health informed us that he had Neisseria meningitis," read an email from camp personnel to parents on July 14.

All campers and personnel who had contact with Beer will receive a prophylaxis treatment that prevents infection. The incubation period of meningitis is three to four days, with a range of two to 10 days, camp officials said.

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

Daniel was the son of Jill and Sam Beer. There was no answer at the family home on Tuesday evening.

Menactra and Menveo are vaccines typically given in preteen and teen years to combat meningitis. Boosters are needed every five years.

According to Orange County Spokesperson Justin Rodriguez, autopsy results are only released to next of kin as per Pennsylvania law. 

Meningococcal is a contagious infection spread by close contact, such as living with or kissing an infected person. Quick medical attention is extremely important if the disease is suspected. Symptoms include sudden fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and confusion. Meningococcal disease is very serious and can be fatal. When fatal, death can occur in as little as a few hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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