Ian Paregol, father of recently deceased University of Maryland freshman, Olivia Paregol is speaking out about what he believes contributed to his daughter’s sudden death from adenovirus. Paregol says that a known mold problem in his daughter’s dorm contributed to her death.
Daily Mail says that Paregol believes that mold in 18-year-old Olivia’s dorm, Elkton Hall contributed to her rapid demise, particularly because she was already immune compromised.
“It didn’t help the illness. I think that’s a really fair statement. We don’t know that there’s causation, yet, but it didn’t help things. I mean … apparently, there were two kids sick when we came forward, right? That was the 13th. I would’ve liked to have had that information. And now there are three more kids sick.”
Elkton Hall is one of the high-rise dorms on the College Park campus of the University of Maryland just north of Washington, D.C.
A statement from the University Health Center says that there is no connection between the mold problem and the outbreak of adenovirus on campus.
“The cases of adenovirus-associated illness on campus have been seen both in students living on and off campus and among students in residence halls affected by mold and not.”
The Health Center says that the virus was not just found in students who live in the mold-affected dorms.
“As such, it appears that there is no consistent connection between mold exposure and the incidents of adenovirus infection affecting UMD students.”
But the University of Maryland admits that students who are immune compromised are at a higher risk, and Oliva Paregol had Crohn’s Disease. Over 500 students from Elkton Hall were relocated to area hotels due to the ongoing mold issue, which the university says is being addressed.
Jessica Thompson, another resident of Elkton Hall says that it’s been stressful living in a dorm with a known mold problem.
“You can’t sleep at night because the pillow is right next to mold and you’re up all night coughing. We got to go home on the weekends and we would be totally fine at home, and we would come back and would be sniffling and coughing and then have headaches.”
Ian Paregol says that he believes that parents should have been told earlier about the issue because with his daughter’s immune issues in mind, he would have acted sooner, even if the university didn’t.
“If they would have known a week earlier, I think there would have been a different result. This should never have happened.”
Dr. David McBride, director of the University Health Center explains that the first case of adenovirus was diagnosed on November 1st.
“Since then, there have been reports of five additional cases of students with confirmed adenovirus-associated illness. On November 19, we learned that the testing of one specimen sent to the CDC revealed adenovirus 7, a strain that may cause more severe illness.”