Queensbury High School yearbook photo of John Vasiliou.
QUEENSBURY - The State Health Department tests found that the 16-year-old Queensbury High School football player who died mysteriously did not have bacterial meningitis, as originally thought.
They tested for bacterial meningitis along with three of the other most common bacterial infections, and the results were all negative.
Jonathan Vasiliou, a junior at the high school and a center on the varsity football team, abruptly died Tuesday at Albany Medical Center. The teen had come to football practice the day before complaining of a toothache, and with an infection on his face, and did not play.
He was taken to Glens Falls Hospital then later transported to Albany Medical Center. He died less than 24 hours later.
The Queensbury Union Free School District had been operating on the assumption it was bacterial meningitis and advised Vasiliou's teammates to take a preventative drug. The School District said the majority of students followed their recommendations.
"We took a worst case scenario, so we treated the students as if this was the most communicable, most dangerous form of meningitis," Dr. Dan Larson, the School District's physician said.
The School District also took precautions within its facilities, cleaning the weight room, locker room and changes how student athletes get water during practices and at games.
"We're not using the water bottles anymore, we're using paper cups that are disposable," Superintendent Douglas Huntley said.
The family has declined an autopsy. Dr. Larson said that means we will never know for sure what caused Vasiliou's untimely death.
The School District said the health risk has now passed and they're turning their attention to helping students get through this difficult time. Counselors will be on hand at the school, where classes on set to begin next week.
Saturday's football game at Queensbury High School will be played in Vasiliou's honor.
Calling hours for him have been scheduled for Monday, September 3rd from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Regan Denny Stafford Funeral Home, 53 Quaker Road, Queensbury.
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