A freshman student from the University of Maryland passed away due to a particularly serious strain of adenovirus. It is the same illness that recently killed 11 children and affected over 30 others at a medical facility in New Jersey.
The University of Maryland stated in an announcement the tragic death of one of their students due to adenovirus. Although the university did not name her, the father of 18-year-old Olivia Paregol confirmed that it was his daughter who passed away.
The university’s Health Center staff are currently on high alert and working in coordination with the state and county departments of health. As of Nov. 19, laboratory testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that the strain that affected the students is adenovirus 7, which is a strain that can cause more serious illnesses.
So far, there are five more confirmed adenovirus cases among students.
According to the CDC, adenoviruses are common viruses that can cause various illnesses such as bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throat, diarrhea, and even pink eye. It is not typically deadly, but as mentioned, some strains such as the adenovirus 7 can cause more serious illnesses. Furthermore, there are some people in whom adenovirus is more dangerous, such as those with underlying illnesses or those with compromised immune systems.
In the case of Paregol, it was possible that she was more vulnerable to the illness because of her Crohn’s disease. Similarly, the recent adenovirus outbreak at a medical facility in New Jersey killed 11 children who were already medically compromised.
As such, the university is said to be taking careful measures to prevent the spread of disease and to warn the members of the community to be on high alert.
“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,” the university notes.