OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says they are investigating multiple cases of adenovirus infection on college campuses, including at UW-Oshkosh, UW-La Crosse, and UW-Madison.
Adenovirus infections most commonly cause respiratory illness, and while serious illness is rare, in some cases it can lead to pneumonia or death, according to DHS officials.
“Adenovirus infection is easily spread, which is why we tend to see it in places where large groups gather, like college dormitories and classrooms,” says State Health Officer Jeanne Ayers. “While symptoms vary, the virus can be especially hard on people with weakened immune systems or who have lung or heart problems.”
UW-Oshkosh officials say two students on campus have had confirmed cases of adenovirus. They add that they do not consider this to be an outbreak and both students have recovered.
Officials add that there are a number of ways someone can get adenovirus including coming in contact with someone already infected or touching surfaces contaminated with the infection.
Symptoms of adenovirus infection depend on which type of the virus you have and the part of the body it is affecting.
- Respiratory illness. These can range from cold and flu-like symptoms to bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Pink eye.
- In rare cases, inflammation of the bladder or severe neurological disease.
DHS adds that antibiotics do not work on adenovirus. Those with symptoms should see a doctor, stay home from work or school, and practice good health hygiene to avoid spreading the virus.
People who have had the virus but no longer have symptoms could still spread it, so it’s important to be vigilant about washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes.
DHS is working with local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and college and university health services directors to provide prevention information and track the outbreaks.
Information about these outbreaks can be found on the DHS Outbreaks and Investigations webpage.