Boy, 7, Dies From Mysterious Rash On Vacation

Boy dies from rash on vacation — A boy who died from a rash on vacation has left investigators scratching their heads over what caused the youngster’s tragic death.

The boy, 7-year-old Tevita Alatini of Houston, developed a mysterious rash on his armpit while with his parents on at Camp Pendleton’s Lake O’Neill Recreational Park near San Diego on July 9.

“He was happy and climbing light poles and running around and having a good time just like any other 7-year-old would,” Helen Niko, one of Tevita’s aunts, told San Diego’s 10News.com. Family members describe how the boy then began vomiting, and what started as an innocuous, small red mark under the child’s armpit rapidly grew in size.

Sione Niko, an uncle, told San Diego’s KFMB-TV: “He was complaining about a pain on his side, and it started off just like a little rash, and then it just became bigger.”

The boy was quickly transported to a local emergency room, after being flown to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. The next day, he passed away.

Tevita’s death remains a mystery. Some family members fear the boy contracted a flesh-eating bacteria, while the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office said the 7-year-old was suffering from a “severe infection,” adding that further tests, such as microscopic or toxicological examinations, would need to be conducted. The results of those could take 90 days to emerge.

Meanwhile, there are conflicting accounts of whether the boy went swimming in a lake at the San Diego park. Many family members told KFMB-TV the boy grew sick after paddling in the lake, but uncle Sione Niko told the North County Times newspaper that his nephew had not been in the water. Niko told 10News.com:

“It was so hard for us as a family to go to the beach on Tuesday to watch all the other kids as they’re coming in and out of the water and thinking, ‘This was right up his alley.’ This is where he wanted to be.”