19-year-old Cornell student dies of meningitis

Krista Depew, 19

A 19-year-old college student in upstate New York has died of meningitis shortly after returning home.

Family members say Krista Depew had just finished her freshman year at Cornell University.

She was hospitalized Friday night after complaining that she felt ill. Her mother, Marsha Depew, tells the Glens Falls Post Star that her daughter came home feeling sick. Her doctor said she probably had the flu.

Depew was the 2011 valedictorian at Argyle Central School, in Washington County, 45 miles northeast of Albany.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. It spreads through throat and respiratory secretions, not casual contact.

Cornell spokeswoman Claudia Wheatley says students were informed of Depew's death and will be told if there are concerns about the disease.

Cornell President, David Skorton, issued a message of condolance today.

"It is with deep sadness that I share with you the news of the death of Krista Marie Depew, 19, due to an acute illness Saturday morning, May 26, at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y. On behalf of the entire Cornell community, I want to extend my deepest condolences to Krista's family and her many friends," wrote Skorton. "Krista was a rising sophomore in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and a new member of the Alphi Phi sorority chapter at Cornell. Please join me in taking a moment to acknowledge and remember a cherished member of our community."

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off