First-year Canadian university student dies of severe allergic reaction

Queen’s University's Andrea Mariano, 18, from Thornhill, Ont. Ms. Mariano, a first-year student died at Kingston General Hospital on Sept. 18. (Facebook)

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Andrea Mariano had just started studying at Queen’s University in the Faculty of Arts and Science. The 18-year-old student from Thornhill, Ont., suffered an anaphylactic reaction and was rushed to Kingston General Hospital where she later died on Sept. 18.

“Andrea’s family has indicated that cause of death was related to an anaphylaxis allergic reaction,” according to a statement from Queen’s University.

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Andrea was allergic to peanuts and dairy, according to her family.

“I would like to express my deepest condolences to Andrea’s family on behalf of the Queen’s community,” Principal Daniel Woolf said in a statement. “We are saddened by the loss of this promising young woman.”

The flags at Queen’s have been lowered in Andrea’s honour; memorial services will be held at Queen’s and in Thornhill.

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Expressions of grief and support for Andrea’s family have been posted on social media.

Even though the number of Canadians who have a severe food allergy is rising, deaths are rare. Food Allergy Canada says approximately 2.5 million Canadians have at least one food allergy, and 300,000 Canadian children under the age of 18 have food allergies.

Editor’s note: Since publishing an earlier version of this story, Global News has confirmed Andrea Mariano was allergic to peanuts and dairy.

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