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Glenbrook Teacher Who Died Had Meningococcal Disease

Public health, school officials note there is no reason for concern.

is mourning Thursday's death of a 41-year-old special education teacher.

A notice posted Thursday on the GBN website said a teacher had recently been diagnosed with Neisseria meningitidis, also known as meningococcal disease, and was receiving the appropriate treatment at a local hospital. (Click on the PDF at the right to read the notice.)

An e-mail sent later from the school district . Officials stated that medical privacy laws precluded them from saying what she died of.

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Public health authorities stated there is no cause for concerns and were not recommending any additional prevenative actions for the school, students or staff at GBN. The school has been working with Cook County Public Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Glenbrook Hospital throughout this situation.

Neisseria meningitidis is a bacterium that can cause meningitis. Meningitis is an inflammation of the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord. This bacterium can also cause a serious bloodstream infection, according to the notice.

For more information, the school suggested contacting your primary healthcare physician or the school nurse. The CDC also provides information on their website.

GBN Springfest and prom will go on as scheduled, school officials said.

Counselors and social workers are readily available to help students and staff as needed.  

The school had a moment of silence over the school's intercom in her memory, district officials said.

Polikov graduated from Glenbrook North in 1989 and returned to teach special education in 1997. She was a graduate of the University of Kansas, according to District 225. 

Her funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Shalom Memorial Park, 1700 W Rand Rd., in Arlington Heights. Donations can be made to the Ricky Walowitz Memorial Fund, 3964 W. Dundee Rd., Northbrook.

Did you know Jodi Polikov? Please share your memories of her in the comments below.

Heidi May 18, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Jodi was the best! Her impact on students and parents is evidenced by all the broken hearts at GBN and Northbrook. Deepest sympathies to her family.
NMAtweets May 18, 2012 at 05:39 PM
My deepest sympathies to Jodi's family and friends. I have lost a son to this disease, and I know the suddenness with which this disease can ravage a person's body. I didn't know at the time that meningococcal disease is potentially vaccine-preventable. The CDC recommends routine vaccine for all 11-12 year olds, with a booster dose 5 years later. However, vaccines are licensed for those 9 months - 55 years of age. I have since been vaccinated, even though I am not in a high risk group, because I am not taking chances. This disease has taken too much from me already. Please visit the National Meningitis Association for more information.
Sabrina Smiley Glidden May 18, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Mrs. Polikov was an amazing teacher. Her patience and joy for her students, teaching, and everyday life will always be a huge inspiration. Thank you Mrs. Polikov, with all my heart, for always making my daughter feel appreciated and intellegent. You have forever changed this world for the better.
Frannie May 19, 2012 at 06:10 PM
I am incredibly saddened by the news of Jodi's passing. My deepest sympathies go out to the entire Polikov and Walowitz family. I have several fond memories of Jodi's kind, warm nature over the years. May her memory be for a blessing.
Bradley Weisman May 19, 2012 at 11:08 PM
I lost touch with Jodi through the years, but always a kind soul and very good person. I wish the family much needed comfort.
cindy karlin sharfman May 20, 2012 at 01:13 PM
so very sad. my entire family is heartbroken. may her kindness and loving ways be a blessing for us all.
Nicole Gold May 20, 2012 at 03:07 PM
My deepest sympathy to the Walowitz and Polikov family. I always remember Jodi as being a very loving, fun person with a truly wonderful spirit. My prayers go out to her and the family.

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