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Inoculation history of deceased Drexel student unclear

Drexel officials could not confirm whether the sophomore student who died Monday night of a suspected meningitis infection was inoculated before she registered for classes her freshman year.

Stephanie Ross. Credit: Facebook Stephanie Ross's cause of death is suspected to be meningitis. Credit: Facebook

Drexel University officials could not confirm whether the sophomore student who died Monday night of a suspected meningitis infection was inoculated before she registered for classes her freshman year.

Stephanie Ross, who majored in mechanical engineering, was found unresponsive in her bed inside her Phi Mu (Beta Tau) sorority house on Powelton Avenue. She was pronounced dead at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

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"While the cause of death has not yet been determined, the university is treating this as a suspected case of meningitis and working closely with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to take all necessary precautions," according to a university statement.

All Drexel students living in campus housing are required by Pennsylvania state law to be immunized with the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (Menomune or Menactra). A second dose is recommended if the first dose was given prior to age 16, according to Drexel's website.

Ross did live in her sorority house this year, but the school did not say whether she lived on campus her freshman year. And when asked whether Ross's file indicated whether she had been previously inoculated, Drexel spokeswoman Niki Gianakaris said, "We require all students to get vaccinated that live in university or university-affiliated housing."

Anyone who had been in contact with Ross was encouraged to call the Student Health Center at 215-220-4700.

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