COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA9) -- There have been 31 confirmed or suspected cases of viral meningitis among University of Maryland students, school official said in a letter Thursday.
Approximately 19 students have been hospitalized for supportive treatment, officials said.
The university is asking students to take the following preventative measures:
• Wash your hands frequently, particularly after using the bathroom.
• Stay at home and rest if you are ill to avoid infecting others and avoid those who are sick.
• Clean high touch surfaces in your living space (keyboards, doorknobs). This is currently being done in the residence halls, Ritchie Coliseum, and the Eppley Recreation Center on campus. In addition, the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life has negotiated increased cleaning in many of the chapter houses.
• If you are recovering from the infection and you share a bathroom, be sure to clean the bathroom with commercial disinfectant or bleach.
• Avoid kissing and sharing glasses and utensils. This is especially relevant over the upcoming football weekend.
• If you have an underlying medical condition that causes compromise of your immune system, special vigilance to these measures is important.
In otherwise healthy people, the course of the illness is generally uncomfortable and similar to the flu, and those affected typically have symptoms for three to five days. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for this infection.
Viral meningitis should not be confused with the much more dangerous bacterial meningitis.
If you have symptoms consistent with viral meningitis, like fever, headache, light sensitivity and stiff neck, please visit the UHC or your doctor to be checked.