Mercer student found dead in dorm after having flu-like symptoms

An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of death of a 19-year-old Mercer University student found dead in his dorm room Tuesday.

Ronald Quashie, of Ellenwood, went to The Medical Center of Central Georgia on Sunday night with flu-like symptoms — a sore throat, chest discomfort, chills and congestion. He was treated and released, said Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones.

A roommate found him dead about 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jones said.

Jones said blood samples are being sent to the GBI for further testing.

“He will be tested for the swine flu,” Jones said. “He’s going to be tested for everything.”

It will be two to three months before the results are returned, he said.

Jennifer Jones, spokeswoman for the North Central Health District, said the district hasn’t had any recent confirmed swine flu deaths. The district has reported three deaths since the pandemic began.

The last confirmed H1N1-related death in the district was in September.

According to his Facebook page, Quashie was a 2008 graduate of Chamblee High School. The Mercer Web site lists him as a student at the school of education.

In an e-mail to The Telegraph, Mercer spokesman Larry D. Brumley said the school was “closely monitoring students who have been in contact with (Quashie) to ensure their well-being, physically and emotionally. We are encouraging people on campus to avoid speculating about the cause of death. At some point we will have an answer, and the appropriate authorities are working to make that determination.”

Telegraph writer Joe Kovac Jr. contributed to this report.