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An 18-year-old College of Maryland pupil died on Sunday from problems associated to adenovirus, a household of viruses that has claimed many lives in current months.

Olivia Paregol, 18, “seemed to be getting sicker and sicker” in current weeks, her father, Ian Paregol, advised Washington, D.C., native information station WJLA. She had already been ailing when she was identified with adenovirus, which isn’t sometimes lethal. Typically, the virus causes chilly and flu signs like sore throat, fever and diarrhea, in keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), however it might probably additionally result in neurological ailments. Nevertheless, in individuals with a compromised immune system, the virus might be deadly. On the time of her demise, the teenager had additionally been battling Crohn’s illness.

The college confirmed that the primary case of adenovirus was identified on campus on Nov. 1, and since then, six circumstances in whole have been reported on the faculty. A extreme model of the virus — adenovirus Sort 7 — was a kind of recognized, College Well being Heart director David McBride stated in an announcement. Paregol lived in a dormitory on the college’s campus, the place she seemingly contracted the virus.

Although adenovirus isn’t deadly, it is simple to catch. Based on the CDC, the virus might be caught whereas airborne after a cough or a sneeze. It will possibly additionally come from shut private contact, akin to touching or shaking palms, in addition to touching a contaminated floor, then placing your unwashed hand to your mouth, nostril or eyes. The virus is persistent too — it might probably dwell for a very long time on a floor, even one which’s been disinfected. It will possibly additionally linger in a affected person’s system and stay contagious after the particular person turns into asymptomatic.

Paregol’s grieving household is now questioning whether or not the freshman’s demise was associated to a mildew outbreak in some dorms, the Baltimore Solar stories. The teenager was a resident of Elkton Corridor, which had beforehand been evacuated for mildew remediation. The college, nevertheless, denies that there’s a connection.

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Paregol’s signs began first as a cough after which developed into pneumonia. Her father confirmed that the teenager had visited the College Well being Heart a number of occasions all through the semester. Her father says that if the college had recognized there was an adenovirus outbreak, in addition they ought to have recognized that she was at excessive threat, since immune-system-compromising remedy she was taking to deal with her Crohn’s was distributed by the well being heart. She had allegedly additionally been taken to the emergency room a number of occasions all through the course of her illness, however her situation stored worsening. 

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The teenager was lower than a semester into her tenure on the college, the place she was finding out criminology, when she died at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Her father wonders whether or not the data got here too late — when it comes to each figuring out the outbreak and diagnosing Olivia’s sickness. “If they’d have recognized per week earlier, I feel there would have been a special outcome,” he advised the Baltimore Solar. “This could by no means have occurred.” Paregol described his daughter as a free spirit who was at all times bringing others “into the fold” — a candy child who was having fun with the liberty of residing on a school campus whereas sustaining her grades. 

Now the CDC, the Maryland Division of Well being and the Prince George’s County Well being Division are launching an investigation into the outbreak. Brian Bachus, chief of the state well being division’s division of outbreak investigations, advised the Baltimore Solar that it isn’t uncommon for an adenovirus outbreak to happen at a college at the moment of yr. He stated this might be as a result of college students go to totally different physicians and underreport their circumstances.

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In the meantime, the varsity is addressing the epidemic by vigorously cleansing “high-touch surfaces” and restrooms. It’s going to additionally change out self-serve utensils within the cafeteria each 15 minutes. It’s urging anybody with adenovirus-like signs — particularly these with a weakened immune system or a situation like bronchial asthma and diabetes — to go to a doctor inside 48 hours of detecting these signs. 

Adenovirus has already sickened 34 kids and younger individuals in close by New Jersey, the place it took over a well being care facility for the “medically fragile.” Of these, 11 kids have died.

The CDC recommends frequent hand washing, protecting your mouth whereas coughing and sneezing, avoiding shared cups and utensils, and even refraining from kissing as vigilant precautionary measures towards the cussed adenovirus, for which there isn’t any recognized treatment.

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