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3/5/2014 10:00:00 AM
Disease claims Central Catholic student
Jake Parkhurst
Jake Parkhurst

Students and staff at Central Catholic High School in honor of a 17-year-old junior who died Tuesday of suspected meningococcal disease.

Students began using social media to spread word about the death of Jake Parkhurst, who lives in Clackamas County. He was admitted to Legacy Emanuel Hospital over the weekend.  

John Garrow, principal of the Southeast Portland school said the community is devastated. He called Parkhurst a wonderful student who was involved in campus ministry and other activities.
Only about 30 people each year get infected by meningococcal disease, with a death rate of about 10 to 15 percent. Teens and college students are most at risk.

The disease is contagious, spread through saliva or sneezing. Symptoms include fever, headache, very low blood pressure and a distinctive red-purple rash.

Health officials say only Parkhurst's family or close friends could be at risk. They have been advised to take antibiotics as a preventative.  

No other cases of the illness have been reported.

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