What to Know
University of Maryland freshman Olivia Paregol died November 18 of adenovirus complications.
Health officials now say they are dealing with an outbreak of the virus, which has symptoms that can be confused with those of a cold.
Nasal spray tests confirmed at least 22 students were sickened.
At least 22 students at the University of Maryland were sickened by a strain of Adenovirus that killed one freshman at the school.
Medical experts now say the university is dealing with an outbreak of adenovirus, which has symptoms similar to those of a cold, including a sore throat, fever or pink eye.
The school says officials used a nasal test, the most reliable test available, to tally the number of cases. Several students got sick in early November and have since recovered, the university says.
On Tuesday, the school said that nine cases of the virus had been confirmed. This figure includes the death of Olivia Paregol, who died of adenovirus complications on Nov. 18.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state and the county all are addressing the virus, said Prince George's County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter.
"We're working with the University of Maryland, the CDC and the state to make sure that we identify the strains, understand how it is spreading and make sure we are getting the word out," he said.
Adenoviruses are common viruses that can cause a range of illnesses, according to the CDC. The virus can pose serious complications to people with weakened immune systems, respiratory issues or cardiac disease.
According to university officials, the CDC tested five specimens and four were confirmed as Adenovirus 7, which is associated with acute respiratory disease. Another sample came back inconclusive and will be tested again, the school says.
Adenovirus is typically spread from an infected person to others through close personal contact such touching or shaking hands; through the air by coughing and sneezing; or by touching an object or surface with adenoviruses on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.
UMD is advising students and staff members to be conscientious about hygiene.