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Heightened alert locally after deadly outbreak of virus on University of Maryland campus

Posted: 4:25 PM, Nov 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-27 18:41:21-05

The death of a University of Maryland student who came down with Adenovirus has a local campus on heightened alert about it. 

According to NBC News, Olivia Paregol, 18, died November 18. Several other students at Maryland have since been diagnosed with Adenovirus.

Keli Wollmer, the Interim Director of the Marquette University Medical Clinic, said Adenovirus is "actually very common." 

"There's over 55 strains of this virus," she added. 

Wollmer said Adenovirus typically causes acute respiratory illnesses, like the common cold. 

But she said it can be deadly in people like Paregol, with weak immune systems. 

She said Marquette does not actively test for Adenovirus, or track it. But Wollmer said it's highly likely some Marquette students have already come down with it this year. 

"We probably see more of it in the fall season," Wollmer said. 

Wollmer said the death of Paregol also validates the university's policy of being extra careful with any students who report problematic immune systems. 

"Whenever we have a patient with immune deficiency, we're always more cautious with them," Wollmer said. "Especially if they present with any kind of viral symptoms." 

She said the best way to prevent the spread of Adenovirus is frequently washing your hands, avoiding sharing food or drinks with others, and covering your cough. 

Audrey Meyerseick, a Marquette student, called the death at the University of Maryland, "scary." 

She said she thinks viruses spread easily on college campuses, so the outbreak at Maryland hits close to home. 

"You live in such close proximity to people, especially in the dorms, so it's easy to get sick," Meyerseick said.