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Residence Halls to Get Deep Cleaning Over Break; Adenovirus Cases Reach 30

By Maryland Today Staff

With the University Health Center now reporting 30 confirmed cases of students with Adenovirus, Residential Facilities announced yesterday it was expanding its winter-break residence hall cleaning program to help halt the spread of colds and flu.

The total number of cases includes students who had been sick earlier in November, but have recovered. One student died on Nov. 18 of Adenovirus, a typical cold virus with many strains.

From Jan. 7 to 18, contractors escorted by university staff will disinfect frequently touched surfaces inside residence hall rooms, suites and apartments, Residential Facilities said in an email to residents.

Frequently touched surfaces, including doorknobs, desk and dresser tops, drawer fronts, countertops, light switches and other surfaces detailed here, will be disinfected.

Before departing for winter break, students are asked to clear off various items of furniture detailed here, and to take valuables home and store fragile items out of the way. Staff will not move or disinfect personal belongings, so furniture that is not cleared cannot be disinfected, Residential Facilities said in the email.

Although Adenoviruses are usually not dangerous to the general population, the Adenovirus 7 strain, found in four student cases, may cause more severe illness, particularly for those with chronic medical problems like asthma, diabetes or illnesses that lower their immune system or those who take medicine that lowers their immune system.

For these individuals, it is vitally important not to ignore flu-like symptoms (high fever and cough/sore throat and vomiting/diarrhea) and to visit a physician within 48 hours of developing symptoms, the University Health Center said.

More information is available on the University Health Center's Adenovirus Resources page.

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