SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Military Academy confirmed the identities of two teenagers who recently died of the flu as students who attended school.
“Parents, we are unable to adequately express our pain for the devastating loss of two cadets this weekend. Braxton Graham (8th grade) and Jaime Navarro (11th grade) cadets died at the Primary Children’s Hospital for unrelated illnesses on Friday and Saturday, respectively, “the school administration said in an email to parents.
The school confirmed the validity of the email to Deseret News. The Utah Military Academy is a free public charter school in Ogden for seventh through 12th grade students.
The friends and family of the teenagers who died remembered them on the GoFundMe memorial page of each one created for family members.
“Jaime was a light for our sixth grade students and teachers at Roy Elementary. I’m heartbroken. Sending love and prayers, ”said a woman from Jaime.
“School will not be the same without you. My family and I suffer for you and yours. You were a great friend And all of us who are part of the Ranger team will miss you, ”wrote another commentator.
A family friend recalled Braxton in his GoFundMe as “the best older brother of his 7-year-old sister, his 3 and 1-year-old brothers.”
“He was becoming such a fun teenager! Always telling jokes and being silly. He talked about joining the Air Force when he grew up, “said the Braxton memorial page.
School officials said teenagers died from different strains of the virus and assured parents that the school prioritizes the cleanliness and safety of cadets.
“The deaths of the cadets remain under investigation, but no additional links are currently known. The health department is encouraging families to get vaccinated against the flu, keep the cadets out of school when they are sick and practice good hand washing / respiratory etiquette, “urged the school administration.
“Secondly, our cleaning company is taking additional measures to disinfect and disinfect the school this afternoon as a precaution, and teachers will do everything possible to continue to maintain disinfected classrooms between classes during the flu season,” he continued. release.
Classes will continue on Monday, according to the email, with additional counselors available to speak with teachers and students.
With the flu activity currently considered high and widespread throughout the state, health officials are encouraging people not to be too late to get vaccinated.
“We know that the community is seeing high levels of flu-like illnesses at the moment, and it is widespread throughout the state. It is known that both strains identified in the cadets circulate in the community at this time, and both are considered normal strains of seasonal influenza. In addition, protection against both strains identified is included in this year’s influenza vaccine, “the Weber-Morgan Health Department said in a statement included in the email.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 54 pediatric deaths from influenza in the US. UU. This flu season.
Contributing: Tania Dean