School back in session for Coral Reef students
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Class is back in session Monday for students still mourning the loss of a classmate.
Monday, Coral Reef Senior High students wore black in honor of 18-year-old Christopher Valdes. Valdes died last Friday, an hour after being diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.
During their lunch hour, students took a moment of silence to remember their former classmate. "You need to be careful now because it can happen to any of us, and it's so sudden," said Kristen Putz.
Coral Reef Senior High was temporarily placed on lock down, and school officials sent a letter home, warning of signs of the illness. Meningitis is contagious to anyone with close contact to the infected. "Coincidentally, my daughter was sick with the flu and had many of the symptoms," said Steve Kronen. "So I was scared. She's OK. My condolences go out to the family of this poor boy."
Health officials said Valdes' case was not connected to the recent outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to 15 other deaths across the country. "There is treatment for this infection, but when the person arrives at the emergency room in such an advanced stage, unfortunately doctors can not do much," said a health official.
Officials said it is impossible to know where Valdes caught the disease, however, students can now look out for symptoms and inform their parents when they are feeling ill.
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