University of Michigan: Respiratory illnesses on rise on Ann Arbor campus

17 November, 2022
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University of Michigan: Respiratory illnesses on rise on Ann Arbor campus

The University of Michigan has seen an uptick in “all types of respiratory illnesses” as thousands of students prepare to head home for Thanksgiving break.

The news was shared by U-M’s Chief Health Officer Robert D. Ernst in a letter to the school community on Wednesday, who said the campus is experiencing high transmission of adenovirus.

“Findings from testing done at UHS and at Michigan Medicine indicate that the campus community is currently experiencing a detected outbreak of adenovirus,” wrote Ernst. “The University of Michigan, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Washtenaw County Health Department, continues to evaluate and respond to these cases.”

Adenovirus typically causes seasonal colds, and it rarely develops into severe illness. Very young children and immunocompromised individuals are most susceptible to developing severe symptoms. Ernst said cases on campus have been mild.

The most common symptoms of adenovirus include a fever, runny nose and sore throat. Individuals may also experience a cough and gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea.

Transmission occurs through contact with contaminated surfaces or droplets from the throat or nose. Symptoms can last for days or weeks and there is currently no specific treatment.

Ernst urged those who become sick to stay home and test for COVID-19 if symptoms develop. Sick individuals should look out for worsening symptoms like a stiff neck, severe headache, shortness of breath or a high fever, which could indicate more serious illness.


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