Community Responds to Meningitis Case

Kalamazoo College sophomore Emily Stillman, 19, died this morning (Sunday, February 3) due to complications from bacterial meningitis. Emily was taken to Bronson Hospital around 2 AM Friday morning, February 1. K administration and the Student Health Center learned the diagnosis later that morning and immediately began to work in close collaboration with the Kalamazoo County health department and Bronson’s epidemiology lab.

The health department provided two nurses to help K health professionals with education and prophylactic treatment of persons who had been in close contact (within three feet sometime during the previous seven days) with the student. Those who may have had casual contact should not be affected. The health team provided prophylactic treatment to approximately 120 persons through the weekend.

No additional cases of bacterial meningitis have been reported. According to the health department, the likelihood of additional cases of meningitis at Kalamazoo College is very low.

The Student Health Center has extended its hours to reach out to students to provide prophylactic antibiotic treatment, discuss symptoms of the illness, and discuss vaccination recommendations. (More information on bacterial meningitis is available from the Kalamazoo County epidemiology on-call line: 269–207–5783.) Counseling Center staff members have also been available to students.

This afternoon (February 3) approximately 350 K students, faculty, and staff gathered in Stetson Chapel to remember Emily and to support one another. Emily’s funeral is scheduled for 10 AM Tuesday morning, February 5, at the Dorfman Chapel in Farmington Hills.