Health Center Updates

Updates & Information

Adenovirus Information

The University Health Center’s top priority is the health and wellness of our university community. In fall 2018, the university coordinated closely with state and county health officials in the handling of adenovirus on our campus. Adenovirus is one of many respiratory viruses that circulates in the population year-round and its presence is common in a community of our size, but there are strains that can cause more serious illness. We urge our community, particularly those with chronic or underlying medical conditions or a compromised immune system, to take these viruses seriously, follow the advice in our messages to campus and from medical professionals, and seek medical care when necessary. Below are resources to assist students, faculty and staff with taking preventive measures and information about the university’s response to adenovirus on our campus.


Responding to Adenovirus at the University of Maryland

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Adenovirus here.

Timeline of University of Maryland Actions.


Campus Communications:


External Communications:

Flu Prevention Messages

January 16th, 2020

Dear UMD community,

Seasonal influenza activity in the United States and in Maryland is high and continues to increase.  Here are some reminders of important ways to stay healthy by following the CDC’s Flu Preventive Steps

Take time to get a flu vaccine before the beginning of the spring semester.  It takes about two weeks after receiving the flu vaccine for it to become effective.  The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu.  If you are already in the area, the University Health Center still has flu vaccines available. Schedule an appointment for a flu shot at myuhc.umd.edu or call 301.314.8180.

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Consider avoiding crowded places during flu season, especially when you are ill.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

If you have underlying health conditions or take medications that suppress your immune system:   

  • It is especially important to get your yearly flu shot to prevent complications. 
  • If you develop flu symptoms (fever with a cough or sore throat), please see your healthcare provider within 24-48 hours.  

For more information about the seasonal flu, please visit the CDC’s website.

Special Health Advisory regarding the outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in China: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring a reported cluster of pneumonia of unknown etiology (PUE) with possible links to a large wholesale fish and live animal market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.  If you have visited Wuhan City within the past 2 weeks, please click here for more information.

 

In health, 

The University Health Center

 


November 5, 2019

Dear UMD Community,

As the flu season approaches, we want to remind you of important ways to stay healthy by following the CDC’s Flu Preventive Steps.

Take time to get a flu vaccine.  Get the shot! It is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu. The University Health Center has plenty of flu vaccine available. Schedule an appointment for a flu shot at myuhc.umd.edu or call 301.314.8180. 

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Consider avoiding crowded places when you are ill.   
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
  • If you have underlying health conditions or take medications that suppress your immune system, it is especially important to get your yearly flu shot to prevent complications.  If you develop flu symptoms (fever with a cough or sore throat), please see your healthcare provider within 24-48 hours.  

For more information about the seasonal flu, please visit the CDC’s website.

In health,
University Health Center


 

February 20, 2019

Dear University of Maryland community,

The University Health Center is seeing an increase in individuals presenting with influenza in the past two weeks, primarily Influenza A.  Influenza is a respiratory illness that typically presents suddenly with high fever, body aches, headache and cough that is contagious.  We have not diagnosed or been made aware of any cases of Adenovirus illness since the start of the Spring semester.  We're writing with a reminder about ways to keep yourself and those around you healthy...

  • Be a healthy Terp and get a flu shot. It is not too late!  The UHC has already given thousands of flu shots and we have a small supply remaining.
  • Wash your hands frequently and use the hand sanitizing stations that are located around campus. 
  • Avoid those who are ill, if possible.
  • Clean high touch surfaces in your room and/or office with anti-bacterial cleaner (bleach wipes are very good).
  • Cough into your sleeve or a tissue, not directly into your hands, and wash your hands immediately.
  • Avoid touching your face both when you are ill and when healthy. This spreads germs!
  • Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups, and water-bottles.

The treatment for influenza for otherwise healthy people is “supportive,” meaning that our recommendations will often be that you rest, take plenty of fluids and fever reducing medicine if you are diagnosed with the flu.  Anti-viral medications (Tamiflu and Relenza) must be started within 48-72 hours of the onset of illness, but they are generally not recommended for healthy people with flu.  For students, faculty and staff who have chronic medical problems, such asthma, diabetes, and immune dysfunction, it is important to visit the UHC or your personal physician within 48 hours of developing flu symptoms.

  • If you are sick, stay home and in bed. Avoid crowded places like dining halls, classrooms, restaurants and the Recreation Center to prevent spreading your illness to others.
  • Recruit a friend (your “Flu Buddy”) to help care for you and help bringing food to you from the dining hall.
  • Take fever reducers like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) if you have a fever. If your fever persists for more than three days in spite of fever reducers, please seek care.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Contact the UHC at 301.314.8180 for medical advice if you are unsure of what to do after reading this information.

For more information on the Flu, please visit the following site: Flu (influenza).
Stay well! The University Health Center is here to answer any questions that you may have.

In Health,

David McBride, MD
Director, University Health Center


November 9th, 2018

Flu and other virus season is upon us again and I’m writing with some things to consider. We are seeing many ill patients (as is typical in the fall) with fevers and sick symptoms for a variety of reasons. In particular, we’re seeing patients with non-specific fever and gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea and vomiting), influenza-like illness and some scattered cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. The Health Center, Residential Facilities, Facilities Management and RecWell are working together to increase cleaning of high touch surfaces and restrooms around campus.

This is no cause for alarm, but it does give us the opportunity to practice effective prevention techniques for these types of illnesses:

  • Be a healthy Terp and get a flu shot!  The UHC has plenty of flu vaccine available.  Schedule an appointment for a flu shot today!
  • Wash your hands frequently and use the hand sanitizing stations that are located around campus. 
  • Avoid those who are ill, if possible.
  • Clean high touch surfaces in your room with anti-bacterial cleaner (bleach wipes are very effective-follow the instructions on the packaging).
  • Cough into your sleeve or a tissue, not directly into your hands, and wash your hands immediately.
  • Avoid touching your face when you are ill and when healthy; this spreads germs!
  • Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups, and water bottles.
  • Avoid Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers unless you are truly sick as these locations will be crowded with many sick people.

For Students with Underlying Health Conditions

The University Health Center (UHC) is committed to supporting students with underlying medical conditions.

If you have an underlying medical condition or are immune-suppressed, we recommend that you visit UHC to connect with one of our providers, even if you have a primary care provider (PCP) or specialist at home. This allows you to have an ongoing relationship with a UHC provider in the event that medical issues come up and your PCP or specialist can’t be reached. We aim to establish continuity for care received on campus and with your PCP or specialist. Often the UHC can be helpful in identifying a local specialist if you're coming from outside of the area. A visit with a UHC provider ensures that your medical history is documented in your UHC medical record in the event that specific communication to you is indicated.  To schedule this appointment, please call the UHC at 301-314-8180 and ask to schedule a "Meet and Greet" appointment.  

We would also like you to know that there are measures that you can take to protect yourself, and we are here to provide support and guidance. These measures include completing all required and recommended vaccinations, including a yearly flu shot. If you have certain medical conditions, you may also benefit from a pneumonia vaccine. We advise that you avoid fellow students who are ill. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer, and avoid sharing utensils or drinking glasses. Take extra caution in situations where you may be around crowds or large groups of people (consider avoiding crowded parties).  These measures are emphasized in all of the University Health Center communications about illness on campus.  

If you have any questions, please contact the Health Center at 301-314-8180. 

Measles Information

May 8th, 2019

Greetings from the University Health Center,

As you may know, there is currently a national surge of measles cases. So far, 700 cases have been reported nationwide in 23 states. There have been four cases of measles in Maryland, though no cases at the University of Maryland. I’m sharing this important health message for your protection, the protection of your family and the health of our community.

Measles is a disease which causes fever, cough, runny nose, eye irritation and a rash. It can cause more serious problems like lung, ear or brain infections, and in rare cases, death. It is extremely contagious and can live in the air for several hours in a location where an infected person has been.

Most people born and raised in the U.S. have been vaccinated against measles. Measles vaccine is required of all University of Maryland students, and enforced by a registration block. The state does allow for a waiver based on religion or medical conditions that would preclude administration of the vaccine.

Given this current situation, we recommend that you take the following action:

  • Contact your healthcare provider, or review your immunization records, to make sure that you are immune to measles. We recommend that you keep these records readily available.
  • If your immunization records are not on file at your health care provider’s office or at the Health Center, please discuss a blood test for immunity with your doctor or start the measles vaccine series (2 shots at least 4 weeks apart).

Please note, a person is considered immune if they:

  • received two doses of measles–containing vaccine (typically MMR) on or after the their first birthday OR;
  • have a blood test showing immunity to measles  OR;
  • were born in the United States prior to January 1, 1957.

The UHC is gathering immunization records on selected staff populations, including first responders, housekeeping staff, dining staff, and those living in our residence halls. We are also arranging times to administer MMR vaccine to un-immunized individuals. The cost of the vaccination is covered either by departments or personal insurance.

There is no age limitation for immunity in persons born outside the United States. This means those born outside of the United States need two doses of MMR regardless of their age. Please let me know if you have any questions, and I appreciate your attention to this important public health matter.

 

INFORMACION EN ESPANOL

Salmonella Information

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.

Sincerely,

Dr. David McBride
Director, University Health Center