|411 Winters Avenue, West Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 2009; personal collection|
I didn't know of Charles' existence until the Pennsylvania death certificates became available online a few years ago. From the death certificate, I discovered that Charles died of gastroenteritis and had suffered from the complaint for a month. While many call it a stomach flu, it really has nothing to do with the flu at all. Gastroenteritis is caused by a bacterial or viral infection. When caused by a viral infection the most common are the rotavirus or the norovirus. When caused by a bacterial infection, the most common causes are contact with another infected person, contaminated food or water, or unwashed hands after going to the bathroom or changing a diaper.
At the time Charles died, the Dagutis household was likely in a bit of upheaval. His mother gave birth the day before to the family's youngest known son, Albert Paul Dagutis. It's quite likely that Charles' older sister, twelve-year-old Anna, was responsible for his care during the final days of his illness.
|Charles Dagutis 1920 Pennsylvania Death Certificate; courtesy of Ancestry.com|
While I will never know for sure, an interesting notation on Charles' death certificate leads me to believe he died because he ate contaminated cabbage. It probably was not thoroughly cleaned before eating.