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Student dies after bacterial meningitis diagnosis

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm •  Published: February 4, 2013

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A sophomore at Kalamazoo College has died after being diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and at least 120 people are getting antibiotic treatment as a precaution, officials said.

Emily Stillman, 19, of the suburban Detroit community of Oakland County's West Bloomfield Township, died Sunday due to complications from the infection after being taken to a hospital early Friday, the school said in a statement. Her funeral is Tuesday at The Dorfman Chapel in Farmington Hills.

Meningitis is an infection of the fluid that surrounds a person's spinal cord and the brain. No additional cases of bacterial meningitis have been reported, the school said, and those in close contact with Stillman were urged to get antibiotic treatment.

Health officials said the likelihood of additional cases at Kalamazoo College is low.

About 350 students, faculty, and staff at the southwestern Michigan school gathered in Stetson Chapel on Sunday to remember Stillman. Some wrote messages to her on lanterns made out of paper bags and candles, and placed them on and around a bench.

Friends recalled her as funny, sarcastic and an overwhelming presence.

"You just feel her when she walks into a room," friend Nicole Caddow, a fellow sophomore at the school, told "You just know Emily Stillman is there."

Kalamazoo College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran said in an email to the campus community that Stillman died with family members by her side.

"On behalf of the Kalamazoo College community I extend heartfelt condolences to Emily's family, friends, teachers, and fellow students," Wilson-Oyelaran wrote. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew and loved her."

The school's Student Health Center extended its hours to reach out to students to provide antibiotic treatment, offer information about symptoms and discuss vaccination recommendations. Counseling Center staff members also are available to students.


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