Samantha Scott, a 23-year-old student and rowing team member at Kansas State University, suddenly died on Saturday of a rare bacteria infection that was initially believed to be a soar throat.
Samantha Scott, of Fort Morgan, Colorado, started to feel ill, but it was initially thought tonsillitis was to blame.
According to her family, it was later discovered that Scott was actually suffering from Lemierre’s syndrome, a bacterial infection that begins in the throat.
Scott died two weeks later, after her Lemierre’s syndrome went untreated.
Lemierre’s syndrome is a bacterial infection that begins in the throat and spreads through the lymphatic vessels. Symptoms can include sore throat and fever, followed by swelling of the internal jugular vein.
Lemierre’s syndrome is a fast-acting bacteria that can take over a person’s body quickly if not treated quickly. While potentially deadly, it is also rare. Doctors diagnose just 3.6 cases per 1 million people each year, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Those who go without treatment may also suffer from deadly complications like bone infections and meningitis, according to Fox.
Kansas State Sports reported that Scott “was a four-year member of the rowing team and the squad’s top coxswain this season.”
Scott was an architectural engineering major who performed well academically.
Scott rowed for Kansas State, and her coach, Patrick Sweeney, said he’ll remember her as a great leader and a great person.
“She was so well-liked by all of her teammates and had such a big impact on our program both on and off the water,” Sweeney said in a statement. “We are all still in a state of shock, and we will continue to keep her family in our thoughts and prayers.”