Community mourns 6-year-old boy who died of suspected flu-related illness

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SALEM, Ohio -- The community of Salem, Ohio, is mourning the death of a little boy.

Public health authorities in Columbiana County are investigating the suspected flu-related death of 6-year-old Christopher Avila.

Christopher, known as CJ, was initially treated at a hospital in Columbiana County, and then transferred to Akron Children's Hospital where he passed away on Jan. 28.

CJ was in kindergarten at St. Paul Catholic School in Salem. The school was closed on Monday as custodians cleaned all surfaces inside the building. Authorities are asking concerned parents to follow the medical protocols that are used any time cases of the flu are reported.

"In normal washing of hands if you are concerned about the fact that your child may have contracted something, you can contact your doctor, your own physician and find out if something called Tamiflu may be in order. Apparently that product will help to mitigate some of the effects of having contracted influenza," said Mayor John Berlin.

This strain of the flu is very strong. Health investigators in Columbiana County say there have been 35 cases reported in the past three months. During the same period of last year, there were no cases reported.

Grief counseling is being made available for St. Paul students and teachers.