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Strep Throat Death Causes School Closure

sams valleySAMS VALLEY, Ore. — Strep throat is being blamed for the sudden illness and death of a school staff member at Sams Valley Elementary School. Because the illness came on so fast, and had such a severe result, the school was closed for cleaning Wednesday, and will remain closed Thursday.

The Jackson County Public Health office said the staff member died Tuesday from complications from strep throat. They said it is very uncommon to develop a life-threatening condition from strep.

A close family member was briefly in the hospital, and two other staff members at Sams Valley Elementary fell sick, but public health officials did not say if those cases were connected.

As a precaution, Sams Valley Elementary was closed Wednesday, and workers were cleaning the school from top to bottom. The district said the school will remain closed Thursday.

Jackson County Public Health said there is no known risk to the public, and said students and teachers should not go to the doctor unless they have symptoms of strep throat, which include sore throat, fever, swollen tonsils, nausea and a rash. They recommend that if you have symptoms, to get a strep test, and to stay home from school or work if you do have strep. Antibiotics are often the best treatment.

The Central Point School District is not releasing the name of the deceased staff member out of respect for the family’s privacy. The district has brought in grief counselors for students and faculty.