Friends and family remember student who died from meningitis

January 24, 2011 5:02:19 PM PST
A high school senior in New Jersey has died of meningitis.

Monmouth County health officials say the 17-year-old Matawan Regional High School student died Saturday, just a day and a half after feeling sick.

17 year old Chris Dhume was a soccer star at the school. Just two days after his death, family and friends attended his wake.

Chris fell sick Thursday and by Saturday, the Meningitis, a bacterial infection had spread.

Common symptoms of bacterial meningitis are fever, headache, body ache, a stiff neck, vomiting, nausea, and pimply red rash.

The health department stresses that bacterial meningitis is not spread by casual contact like touching the same surfaces as someone with the infection. It's direct contact with body fluids.

Still the school district took the extra precaution of disinfecting common areas of the high school. It's also posting lots of information about meningitis on its website.

"The key is putting out accurate information," said Dr. Richards O'Malley, Matawan regional school superintendent.

New Jersey now requires children 11-years-old, entering 6th grade to be immunized against bacterial meningitis, a recent change in the state.

The health department says it's recommending everyone who had extremely close contact with the popular student, to be treated with antibiotics.

Chris' friends today, decorated his locker at school, a memorial to a dear friend, so suddenly taken away.

"He was a really good person, never bothered anyone," said Deaven Nicholson.

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