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Beloved school secretary dies of bacterial meningitis in Tuscarawas County

Posted at 4:54 PM, Dec 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-28 17:33:53-05

Another person has died of bacterial meningitis in Tuscarawas County following a high school student earlier this month.

The initial case was reported to the Health Department on Dec. 15 when 14-year-old Ryan Freeland exhibited symptoms. The most recent case was confirmed on Tuesday.

Heather Marie (Finley) Yoder, 45, a secretary at Dundee Elementary School, was the most recent person to die from bacterial meningitis, according to a county official. She leaves behind a husband and three children.

High school student in Tuscarawas County dies from probable case of bacterial meningitis

The two meningitis cases are not believed to be related, and the health department says there is no reason to believe Freeland and the other individual had any contact with each other because they lived in different parts of the county. Tests also show that they were infected with different types of bacteria. Tuscarawas County is about 90 miles south of Cleveland.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, the state has seen 139 cases of bacterial meningitis this year, including 9 deaths. Last year, there were 134 cases and 7 deaths.

Here's our report from the first death on Dec. 16: