Four-Year Old Child, Student at Barnard School, Dies from Flu-Related Complications

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Four-Year Old Child, Student at Barnard School, Dies from Flu-Related Complications

December 05, 2010 - 16:30

A four-year old child from New Rochelle, has died from complications related to the flu. The child, John Joseph Pippo, a student at Barnard Elementary School, was hospitalized earlier in the week and passed away Friday.

The family are members of Holy Name Church where parishioners were asked today to pray for John and the Pippo family. Memorial Services will be help at the Lloyd Maxcy & Sons Beauchamp Chapel at 16 Shea Place near Blessed Sacrament Church in New Rochelle, NY. The phone number at Lloyd Maxcy is (914) 632-2700.


John Joseph Pippo of New Rochelle died on December 3, 2010. He was four years old.John was born at Sound Shore medical Center in New Rochelle on June 15, 2006. He was the loving son of Michael and Rosa (Occhicone) Pippo. He was a student at Barnard School and was a hockey fan who enjoyed playing soldier with his brother and cousins. In addition to his parents he is survived by his maternal grandparents Giuseppe and Angelina (Cosmo) Occhicone, and his brother Michael Anthony Pippo. He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents Pasquale and Maria Pippo.Visiting hours will be Monday and Tuesday 2-4 & 7-9pm at Lloyd Maxcy & Sons Beauchamp Chapel Inc. 16 Shea Pl. New Rochelle, NY. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Wednesday 12:45pm at Holy Name Church. Entombment will follow.

Talk of the Sound has contacted the school district to get information on what plans they have to help students and staff at Barnard deal with the tragic loss of such a young life.

UPDATE: Several sources are saying that the flu was the H1N1 or "swine flu" virus.

UPDATE: unofficial word is that the district will have grief counselors on-hand Monday for staff and students at Barnard.

UPDATE: The school district has posted the following message on their web site:

Influenza is a potentially serious condition, particularly for infants, young children, seniors, and people with health conditions such as Diabetes, Asthma, and Heart Disease. The vaccine to prevent Influenza is effective, widely available, and inexpensive. Flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months (unless there is a true egg allergy, a history of previous poor reaction or Guillian Barre Syndrome). Even older children, teens, and healthy adults will experience fever, muscle aches, headache, and malaise.

By getting your entire family vaccinated, you are not only protecting loved ones, but also the entire school community by helping to reduce illness and the number of absentee students who miss critical lessons while not in school.

You may be interested in a recent CNN story on how devastating the Flu can be to children and families:

[CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reports on new recommendations from the CDC that all children should be vaccinated for the flu.]

Thank you and stay healthy.

The Health Services Department

UPDATE: School District has issued an official statement.

With deep regret and sadness, we announce the passing of John Pippo, a 4 year old Pre-K student at Barnard Elementary School. We offer our condolences and full support to the Pippo family and the Barnard educational community. The District office will provide additional counseling directly at the school level for faculty and students beginning today.

A funeral Mass is scheduled for Wednesday, December 8th at 12:45pm at Holy Name Church.

Superintendent Richard Organisciak

UPDATE: The Westchester County Health Department has issued an official statement


Westchester County Health Department urges all residents to get a flu shot

The first influenza-associated pediatric death in Westchester this year was confirmed today by the Westchester County Department of Health. The death occurred in a 4-year-old New Rochelle boy. The boy had not received the flu vaccine and had been previously healthy. He became ill in November and had been hospitalized until he died at the end of last week of bacterial pneumonia, which can be a complication of flu. Due to patient confidentiality, no further identifying information will be released.

“Any death is tragic, especially in one so young,’’ said Dr. Cheryl Archbald, acting commissioner of health. “The best protection we have against influenza is the annual flu shot, which is recommended for individuals six months of age and older.”

Each year in the U.S., the flu is responsible for approximately 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths.

This translates into about 100 to 125 flu- related deaths per year in Westchester County residents, based on population.

To help stay healthy this season, the Westchester County Department of Health is urging all residents who are six months of age and older to visit their doctor and get a flu shot. Flu shots are also being provided throughout the County at various supermarkets and pharmacies.

This year's flu vaccine provides protection against the three strains of the flu expected to circulate in the 2010-2011 season – A H3N2, a B strain and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain. Approximately 160 million doses of the vaccine have already been distributed nationwide.

It is important that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated if they have not already done so, to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu.

People most at risk for complications from the flu include pregnant women, adults age 50 and older, household contacts and caregivers of children under age five, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and anyone who has certain underlying medical conditions.

Especially during flu season, if you cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow, and wash your hands often with soap and water. If you do get a respiratory infection, stay home until 24 hours after your fever subsides, to avoid spreading your germs. Clean surfaces you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones. Try to stay healthy by getting plenty of rest, exercising and eating healthy.

For more information about the flu, contact the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000 or visit its website at

UPDATE: John Pippo was laid to rest today following a funeral service at Holy Name Church in New Rochelle, NY.

Others news outlets have picked up the story following the announcement by the WCHD:

WCBS-TV Channel 2, Journal News, AOL Patch, WABC-TV Channel 7, Fox News. Talk of the Sound credited by ABC News and Journal News for first reporting the story.