Rare Infection Claims Beloved Palo Alto High Grad

Emily Benatar was a popular and beloved lacross player at Palo Alto High.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The bacteria that causes meningitis, which claimed Palo Alto alumna Emily Benatar, 19.

    Emily Benatar, 19, a recent graduate of Palo Alto High School, died in St. Louis of bacterial meningitis, according to reports.

    Benatar was a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis, and played on the lacrosse team there, according to the Palo Alto Daily News. She was also on the inaugural girls' lacrosse team at Paly, which memorialized the recent graduate of the school in its final game of the season, according to reports.

    Benatar was diagnosed with the often-fatal illness last month. No other cases of the disease have been recorded at the school, according to reports.

    Meningitis is transported through droplets of secretions from the respiratory tract or throat, and can be transmitted via coughing, kissing, or sharing food or drink, according to reports.

    Staffers and teachers at Paly remembered her an artist, a driven student, and as an environmentalist.

    "She was a walking positive adjective: smart, driven, athletic, nice, wholesome," said Jerry Berkson, the school's vice principal.

    Benatar's family has scheduled a memorial service at 7 p.m. on May 19 in Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills, the newspaper reported.