Dear Campus Community,
As of today, we are aware of three UMD students who have been identified with Salmonella, two confirmed at outside medical facilities and one at the University Health Center. The source of the infection is not yet clear - two of the three individuals have eaten at a variety of campus dining facilities and one has not eaten on campus at all. The three students who were identified with this infection have fully recovered without incident. The Prince George’s County Health Department and the Maryland Department of Health are looking into these incidents to form a better understanding of any potential source.
Salmonella is a bacterial infection that can be passed through contaminated food or from contact with an infected animal. Symptoms typically include diarrhea, blood in the stool, fever and abdominal pain and usually last 4–7 days. Most people recover without specific treatment. If you develop fever with diarrhea, persistent diarrhea longer than 48-72 hours or bloody diarrhea, you should contact a healthcare provider.
Salmonella can be more complicated for certain people, including those who have underlying illnesses, weakened immune systems, children younger than five and older adults. If you have an underlying illness and begin having symptoms, please contact a healthcare provider immediately.
Please read the following tips to lower your chance of getting a Salmonella infection:
- Use safe practices when cooking. Wash your hands and any other utensils or surfaces that have been in contact with raw meat or poultry. Wash your hands in between handling different kinds of foods. Wash fresh produce thoroughly before eating; cook foods to recommended safe temperatures; and keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Avoid foods containing raw eggs or raw (unpasteurized) milk.
- Be careful with food in warm weather. Warmer weather and unrefrigerated foods create ideal conditions for Salmonella to grow. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze foods that are likely to spoil or go bad quickly, prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours (or 1 hour if the temperature outside is 90°F or hotter).
- Wash your hands. Salmonella can spread from animals to people and from people to people. Always wash your hands after contact with animals. Wash your hands after using the toilet, changing diapers, or helping someone with diarrhea clean up after using the toilet.
While there is no indication at this time that the source of this infection came from campus, we will keep the campus community informed once we learn from the state and county health departments if additional precautions should be taken.
Dr. David McBride
Director, University Health Center