ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca College student Shannon Sakosits has died after a brief illness, according to a statement sent by IC on Wednesday.

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Officials say that — “out of an abundance of caution” — anyone who had the following contact with Sakosits should contact IC health officials.

“Anyone from the college community who shared drinking containers or eating utensils; exchanged oral secretions with Shannon (e.g., kissing, sharing cigarettes); or had any similar exposure between October 28 and November 9 should contact the Hammond Health Center to determine if they should receive preventive antibiotics,” said the statement from IC.

Here’s the statement in full, from Benjamin Rifkin, IC’s provost and vice president for Educational Affairs:

With profound sadness, I write to inform you of the death of junior Shannon Sakosits, an Integrated Marketing Communications major, after a brief illness.

I know the entire campus community, and specifically the Roy H. Park School of Communications faculty, staff and students, joins me in extending our heartfelt prayers and deepest sympathies to Shannon’s family, friends, classmates and professors at this difficult time. Shannon is from Mahwah, New Jersey.

The Ithaca College Hammond Health Center and Cayuga Medical Center are working closely with the Tompkins County and New York State Departments of Health to determine the cause of death. To date, preliminary testing has not indicated a bacterial infection as the cause of Shannon’s illness.

Out of an abundance of caution, anyone from the college community who shared drinking containers or eating utensils; exchanged oral secretions with Shannon (e.g., kissing, sharing cigarettes); or had any similar exposure between October 28 and November 9 should contact the Hammond Health Center to determine if they should receive preventive antibiotics. The Health Center has set up a dedicated hotline to answer questions and provide information at 607-274-7128. Casual contact, as might occur in a classroom or lecture hall setting, does not constitute direct, close contact, and antibiotics would not be needed.

Friends and classmates are invited to gather together tomorrow night, November 12, beginning at 7 p.m. in Muller Chapel to support one another, with assistance from counselors and chaplains. At any time, students can contact the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services for additional support at 607-274-3136.

Information about any memorial services will be shared with the campus community as it becomes available.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.