GNADENHUTTEN, Ohio - A student at Indian Valley High School is Tascarawas County died Thursday from a 'probable' case of bacterial meningitis, Superintendent Ira Wentworth confirmed to WKYC.
Wentworth said 14-year-old Ryan Freeland passed away after school hours Thursday, and the next day an announcement was made to the student body and consolers were made available. It was only after that the Tuscarawas County Health Dept. notified the district of the likely cause of death.
According to a letter on the district's website, the student did not exhibit any symptoms until the day he died on Dec. 14. Individuals who came into "close" contact with the victim on that day were recommended to go to local hospitals to receive treatment.
The high school will be closed Monday to allow cleaners to disinfect a restroom the student was in as well as his bus (Bus 24). In addition, Wentworth says crews will go "above and beyond" the recommended efforts by cleaning "all desktop surfaces, tables, counters, door knobs, drinking fountains, etc." All other schools in the Indian Valley district will be open.
The health department added that meningitis is "less contagious than the common cold" and that those who did not come into close contact with the student should not be concerned.