[Update: 8:20 p.m.] Authorities are now investigating six possible cases of bacterial meningitis - including two deaths - in rural Oklahoma elementary school students.
The Rogers County Health Department and Oklahoma State Department of Health said two children from Oologah-Talala public school district have died from the disease. One of them was an 8-year-old, said Superintendent Rick Thomas.
Thomas said school was canceled Friday for the district.
"We just feel like we would rather air on the side of caution," he said, although he has urged parents to remain calm.Â
The state health board said it was providing antibiotics to the schools to help prevent the spread of meningococcal disease - caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis - which can appear as pneumonia, septicemia or meningitis.
[Posted 1:23 p.m.] An Oklahoma elementary school student has died of bacterial meningitis, officials said Thursday, and two other students are hospitalized with the illness.
Health department officials are at Oologah Lower Elementary School in Oologah, according to a statement from Oologah Talala Emergency Medical Services.
Oologah Talala School Superintendent Rick Thomas has asked parents to remain calm until the health department makes recommendations on what actionsÂ should be taken, the statement said.
The medical team at the school may screen students or begin vaccinations, Thomas said, according to the statement.
No further details were available.Â Oologah is about 30 miles northeast of Tulsa.