What is the Adenovirus? More Cases Confirmed at University of Maryland After Student Death

While dealing with the loss of their classmate, Olivia Paregol, more students at the University of Maryland have come down with adenovirus, the same virus that caused the complications that resulted in Paregol's death.

"The University of Maryland is deeply saddened to learn of the death of one of our students from Adenovirus-associated illness. Our condolences are with Olivia's family and friends," said a statement from the university issued Monday.

The university was made aware of the first case on November 1 and has since taken the reports seriously, it said in a release. At least once specimen sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the strain of adenovirus was strain seven, which can cause more severe illness in those who come down with it.

A letter from the director of the university's health center said that the school was made aware of three more cases over the Thanksgiving break.

The school has been taking extra steps to clean "high-touch areas" around campus that could contribute to adenovirus being transmitted and said that there is no link known between adenovirus and the mold found on campus earlier in the semester.

Paregol had a weakened immune system from medication she was taking to treat her Chron's disease her father said, the Baltimore Sun reported. That weakened immune system could have put her at a higher risk for getting adenovirus and she also suffered from complications associated with the illness.

Symptoms of adenovirus are similar to those associated with a cold or the flu like a sore throat, pneumonia, pink eye, a fever, bronchitis and others. "People with weakened immune systems, or existing respiratory or cardiac disease, are at higher risk of developing severe illness from an adenovirus infection," according to the CDC.

The illness is transmitted through personal contact between an infected person and a healthy person, it can also be transmitted through the air via cough or sneeze, or by coming in contact with a surface with the germs on it and then exposing them to the mouth, nose or eyes.

Treatment for adenovirus is similar to that recommended for a cold, usually, rest, fluids and a fever reducer can help speed recovery. There's no vaccine available to the public only a vaccine for two strains that are available solely to U.S. military personnel who can be put at high risk for the infection, according to the CDC.

CDC photo of logo
A podium with the logo for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the Tom Harkin Global Communications Center on October 5, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images