Virus Communication November 20, 2018

November 20, 2018

Dear campus community,

I am sad to share that a University of Maryland student recently passed away from Adenovirus associated illness. We offer our condolences during this difficult time.

While we are normally prohibited from sharing medical information publicly, we have been authorized by a family member to share this news and urge others to take seriously this strain of a common virus.

Adenoviruses are common causes of colds, but there are strains that can cause more serious illness. Over the past couple of weeks we have shared guidance on preventive measures our community should take during this flu and virus season and we urge our community to follow these guidelines.

We learned of an isolated case of a student with Adenovirus on November 1. Since then, we have been closely monitoring for cases in coordination with the Maryland Department of Health and Prince George's County Health Department, by testing students at the Health Center and advising testing to facilities where ill students have been admitted. The Health Center staff has been on high-alert and we have reached out to medical facilities in the area to heighten awareness of this illness.

Since then, there have been reports of five additional cases of students with confirmed Adenovirus associated illness. On November 19, we learned that the testing of one specimen sent to the CDC revealed Adenovirus 7, a strain that may cause more severe illness.

The treatment for these types of illnesses generally includes rest, plenty of fluids and fever-reducing medicine. Unfortunately, there is no specific medication to treat this infection in a non-hospitalized individual. However, vigilance is extremely important for those with chronic medical problems like asthma, diabetes or illnesses that lower your immune system or if you take medicine that lowers your immune system. It is vitally important not to ignore flu-like symptoms (high fever and cough/sore throat and vomiting/diarrhea ) and to visit a physician within 48 hours of developing symptoms.

In addition to communications to our campus encouraging our community to take preventive measures on this and other viruses, departments across campus began increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces early in November in response to this situation.

More information can be found on the University Health Center website.


David McBride, MD
Director, University Health Center

The Flagship Institution of the University System of Maryland
College Park MD 20742-5035, USA
Phone: 301.405.1000