Rare Bacterial Infection Kills College Athlete


Samantha Scott, a 23-year-old student from Kansas recently died because of the so called ”forgotten disease”. The cause of death is actually a rare bacterial infection which causes the Lemierre syndrome.

Scott’s symptoms were similar to tonsillitis

The unfortunate event happened so suddenly that even doctors were surprised, especially since they initially thought that the young girl was suffering from tonsillitis. According to the Kansas State University, Samantha Scott was a top athlete in the school’s rowing team. Having a good physical condition, they wouldn’t have expected that tonsillitis could cause her death.

In fact, the girl had developed the Lemierre syndrome, a disease so rare that it’s also called ”forgotten”. It’s caused by a severe bacterial infection and its symptoms can easily be mistaken for tonsillitis: fever, difficulties and pain in swallowing, sore throat and others.

The Lemierre syndrome is caused by a bacteria which can been found even in healthy people’s throat

The Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center from the National Institute of Health says that the Lemierre infection starts in the throat, but it can affect various organs, including the lungs. It mostly appears in healthy young people, but specialists still don’t know what causes its development in the human system.

It could be viruses or other bacteria that allow it’s spreading.

The Lemierre syndrome is treatable if it’s discovered in time

The Lemierre syndrome can be treated with antibiotics, but this needs to be done as soon as possible. Otherwise, the disease can have nasty effects and, as mentioned above, it can cause a patient’s death.

Unfortunately, most people who have this disease receive a wrong diagnosis and discover the real issue when it’s too late. This was obvious in Samantha Scott’s case. She passed away on October, 27th.

Now, her family started a fundraising campaign for covering the funeral expenses and medical bills. Her parents also want to start a scholarship fund in their daughter’s memory.


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