Meningococcal disease suspected in student death

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland high school student has died of a suspected case of meningococcal (mehn-ihn-joh-KAHK'-ul) disease.

The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1lz1ZYm) reports the Central Catholic student, Jake Parkhurst, died a few days after sending out a tweet about being sick.

Multnomah County's deputy health officer, Dr. Paul Lewis, says the disease infects about 30 people in Oregon each year, and the death rate is less than 15 percent.

He says the disease is contagious, but the risk is not believed to be elevated except among household members and people with intimate contact.

The school said public health officials are determining who at the school should take preventive measures.

Meningococcal disease strikes quickly and causes an inflammation of the brain lining known as meningitis as well as multiple complications once it infects the bloodstream.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

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