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A Maryland College Student Died from a Dangerous Strain of Adenovirus



Photo: Kantarose Boonyuen / Shutterstock

A student at the University of Maryland has died from an illness associated with adenovirus-a common virus that's been linked to 11 deaths in New Jersey over the last two months. Olivia Paregol.

Paregol's death was announced Tuesday, May 17, 2010 by David McBride, MD, director of the University of Maryland Health Center, although she was not mentioned by name. "While we are normally prohibited from sharing medical information. McBride wrote, "This is a common virus virus."

The statement to the campus community has been diagnosed at six decades the university since November 1

.

With these tragedies making headlines, you may wonder what adenovirus is and how to search a common virus can turn deadly.

What is adenovirus?

Adenoviruses are a group of common viruses that can cause a wide range of symptoms and illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For example, they can be responsible for the common cold, stomach flu, sore throat, bronchitis, diarrhea, pink eye, fever, and bladder inflammation or infection. (Related: 9 Healthy Habits That Will Actually Help Prevent UTIs)

These viruses are usually associated with mild illnesses, and most people who get better on their own. But certain strains can cause more serious symptoms, like respiratory distress, pneumonia, or neurologic damage.

The most common way that adenoviruses spread is through close-up personal contact-like touching, coughing, sneezing, or shaking hands-or by touching one's surface and then touching one's mouth, nose, or eyes. Less commonly, adenoviruses can thus spread through infected stool (during diaper changing, for example) or through water (like in swimming pools). Related: 13 Things You Should Know About Stomach Flu)

When is Adenovirus Dangerous?

The recent outbreak in a New Jersey nursing and rehabilitation facility killed 11 children has been attributed to a specific strain, called adenovirus 7, especially in those with compromised immune systems, "according to the New Jersey Department of Health. [The facility treats children with serious medical issues.]

In his statement to the University of Maryland community, dr.

Paregol may also have had a compromised immune system: Her father told WJLA that she had been battling Crohn's disease-a type of chronic, inflammatory bowel disease -And had been living in a dorm known for mold problems. (An FAQ page on the university notes that there is "no consistent connection between the exposure and the incidents of adenovirus infection affecting UMD students.") (Related: 11 Signs It's More Dangerous Than the Common Cold)

How Is Adenovirus Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for adenovirus. Doctors usually recommend rest, plenty of fluids, and over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms like pain and fever.

A vaccine does exist for adenoviruses types 4 and 7, but it is only available to military personnel who may be at

People can protect themselves and their loved one from adenovirus by washing hands with soap and water; avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; and avoiding close contact with people who are sick, recommends the CDC. (Related: 7 Signs You Could Have Strep Throat)

If people get sick, the CDC advises them to stay home, cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and avoid kissing or sharing cups or utensils with others. (Related: Natural Sore Throat Remedies That Are Not Drops)

In his statement, Dr. McBride noted that "vigilance is extremely important for those with chronic medical problems like asthma, diabetes, or lower heart disease." 48 hours of developing symptoms.

Dr. McBride also said the university is working with the state and county health departments, and that departments across campus have increased the "high-touch surfaces." information and regular updates. Health.com by Amanda MacMillan.


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