The University of Oregon is mourning the death last Friday of a 21-year-old undergraduate. Health officials say Lillian Pagenstecher died of bacterial meningitis.
U of O’s fraternities and sororities held a candlelight vigil in memory of Pagenstecher Sunday night.
U of O spokesman Phil Weiler says the university has provided antibiotics to about 100 of the young woman’s sorority sisters, and offered them to about 50 others who were in close contact with Pagenstecher.
Weiler says students who were in brief, casual contact with the student aren’t at risk.
“It’s not the kind of illness that you could contract if you were sitting on a bus with somebody, or if you’d touched a doorknob that someone else had touched. The bacteria doesn’t live outside the human body for very long at all.”
The Eugene Register-Guard reports that Pagenstecher and her two brothers had battled meningitis three years ago, and were considered at heightened risk from the disease due to a protein deficiency.