GALESBURG, Ill. (KWQC) – An autopsy confirms a Galesburg first-grader who passed away last September died of an airborne bacterial infection.
Jaden Lester, 6, died Sept. 15 after his breathing became restricted because his tonsils had suddenly become inflamed.
What caused the inflammation was a mystery until Tuesday, when Knox County Coroner Mark Thomas announced Lester died from Haemophilus influenzae, also known as Hib.
A vaccine for Hib is commonly administered to children in a series of doses beginning at two months of age, and Thomas says Lester had received the vaccination.
However, Thomas says the vaccine does not cover all strains of Hib and infection is still possible in vaccinated kids.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a child can get Hib by being around other children or adults who may have the bacteria and not know it.
Death from Hib is rare and cases have declined dramatically since the vaccine became available in the 1980s, with cases declining by more than 99 percent, according to the CDC.
Lester, a student at Steele Elementary School, had complained of a sore throat on Sept. 14, 2016, according to WGIL Radio.
At 3:27 a.m. the next day, a 911 call was placed and Lester had passed away by the time first responders arrived.