University System of Maryland announces details of adenovirus outbreak review

Liz Bowie
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

The University System of Maryland outlined some of the questions it will aim to investigate as part of an independent review of a fatal adenovirus outbreak on the College Park campus in 2018.

Olivia Paregol, a University of Maryland freshman from Howard County, died Nov. 18 of an illness related to the adenovirus. Forty students were sickened, including 15 treated at hospitals.

The board is taking the action at the direction of Gov. Larry Hogan, who ordered an independent look at how the university responded.

In a news release Friday, the regents said the investigation would develop a timeline of actions between August and the end of the first semester, including looking at what actions were taken to deal with mold in the dormitories and the adenovirus outbreak.

What are adenoviruses, the type of pathogen that killed a University of Maryland freshman? »

The investigation will review the University Health Center’s response and actions to help students who came down with the flu, adenovirus and upper-respiratory symptoms last fall. It also will look at whether officials at College Park had good communication and coordination with public health authorities during the same period.

“We expect this work to be thorough and independent, and that it will eventually inform health and safety policies at campuses throughout the system,” said Linda Gooden, the chair of the Board of Regents, in a statement issued Friday.

Later in the day, Hogan announced that he welcomes the inquiry.

“I called for this investigation last month so that we can get all the facts for the Paregol family and the University of Maryland community,” he said via Twitter. “I am relieved to hear that action is finally being taken.”

By the end of the month, the system expects to pick the experts who will conduct the review, according to Gooden.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jonathan Pitts contributed to this article.

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