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Public health officials still are awaiting laboratory results in connection with the death of a 4-year-old Dunkirk-area boy who contracted bacterial meningitis late last week.

Meanwhile, they voiced confidence that they had identified the boy's close contacts and given them a preventive regimen of antibiotics. That includes family members and others who came in close physical contact with the boy, who attended day care at Fredonia Agri-Business Child Development Center.

Angel Juarez-Santiago died shortly before noon Thursday in Women and Children's Hospital after he was diagnosed about seven hours earlier with the bacterial infection at his home in Portland.

The bacteria are contained in respiratory droplets, such as from a sneeze or cough, and require close contact for infection, according to Edwin Miner, commissioner of health services for Chautauqua County.

The lab tests will provide more information about the exact identity of the bacterium, allowing officials to know if future cases are related or a different outbreak, he said.

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