Important Reminders about Viruses and Staying Healthy
The following message from the Director of the University Health Center was sent to the UMD community on Monday, November 19.
Dear UMD community,
We wanted to reiterate our previous message regarding flu and virus season to remind everyone of important precautions you should be taking to keep yourself healthy.
As is typical this time of year, the University Health Center is seeing many patients with symptoms such as high fevers, cough, congestion, sore throats, diarrhea and vomiting. In the past two weeks, there have been reports of six cases of students with an adenovirus-associated illness. Adenovirus is a typical cold virus with many strains. Some strains cause a more severe or potentially life-threatening illness with high fever and respiratory symptoms.
For otherwise healthy people, the treatment for these types of illnesses includes rest, plenty of fluids and fever reducing medicine. However, if you have chronic medical problems like asthma, diabetes or illnesses that lower your immune system or if you take medicine that lowers your immune system, it is vitally important not to ignore these symptoms and visit the University Health Center or your personal physician within 48 hours of developing symptoms.
Please familiarize yourself with the precautions we have shared previously and the steps you can take to keep yourself healthy this season. This is particularly important as we enter Thanksgiving break, when you may be traveling or attending large gatherings.
- Keep your hands and high-touch surfaces around you clean. Wash your hands frequently and use the hand sanitizing stations that are located around campus. Clean high touch surfaces in your room with anti-bacterial cleaner (bleach wipes are effective-follow the manufacturer's instructions on the package). The Health Center, Residential Facilities, Facilities Management, Department of Transportation Services and RecWell are also working to increase cleaning of high touch surfaces and restrooms around campus.
- Be aware of ill people around you when on campus and off. Avoid those who are ill, if possible. Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups and water bottles. Consider avoiding crowded parties. Avoid Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers unless you are truly sick as these locations will be crowded with many sick people.
- If you are sick, stay home and in bed. Avoid crowded places to prevent spreading your illness to others. In particular, avoid friends or family who have underlying medical problems when you are or believe you may be sick. If your permanent home is within reasonable driving distance, we recommend that you go home to recover.
- Get a flu shot. The University Health Center has plenty of flu vaccine available. Schedule an appointment for a flu shot at myuhc.umd.edu.
Contact the University Health Center at 301.314.8180 or send a message to your provider at myuhc.umd.edu for medical advice if you are unsure of what to do after reading this information.
David McBride, MD
Director, University Health Center