January 24, 2019
Dear Campus Community,
I hope that you had a restful Winter break and are ready to start a productive Spring semester. The University Health Center (UHC) is reaching out with some advice to help keep the campus community healthy as classes resume next week.
It is flu and virus season and you may be aware that there were a number of cases of Adenovirus infections in students living on and off campus last semester and during break. Adenoviruses are common causes of colds, but there are strains that can cause more serious illness. It is important that our community takes this strain seriously, especially those with underlying illness or immune compromise.
Viruses are spread from person to person, therefore, we ask that you take these actions to protect yourself and your friends:
- Do not return to campus if you are sick, particularly with a fever. Stay at home to rest and recover. In advising community members with influenza-like-illnesses (including Adenovirus), the UHC recommends that those who are sick return home via non-public transportation, if feasible. Students should stay in their living spaces and avoid crowded areas to avoid spreading the infection.
- Get a flu shot, if you have not done so already. Influenza season is underway and a flu shot is an excellent way to protect yourself and those around you. There are flu shots available at the UHC and local pharmacies in College Park.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, avoid those who are ill, cover your cough and avoid sharing food, utensils, cups and water bottles.
- Clean high touch surfaces in your room with anti-bacterial cleaner. Bleach wipes are very effective-follow the instructions on the packaging.
During the Winter break, Residential Facilities cleaned high touch surfaces in approximately 4,600 residence hall rooms and apartments on campus. Facilities Management cleaned high touch surfaces in other buildings. The expanded cleaning was done to help decrease the amount of viruses and bacteria living on surfaces.
Faculty and staff have been informed about the advice given to students to delay return to campus if displaying cold-like symptoms, and are aware that some students may be late in arriving to campus for the start of classes.
David McBride, MD
Director, University Health Center