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May 25, 2019

Parents of dead college student say health center never tested for adenovirus

November 28, 2018
University of Maryland freshman Olivia Paregol. (Facebook)

More than a week after the death of their college daughter from a mystery disease, her parents are speaking out about the adenovirus they believe she contracted from moldy campus conditions.

University of Maryland freshman Olivia Paregol died Nov. 18 after complaining of flulike symptoms. Her parents, Ian and Meg Paregol, told CBS News the college health center didn’t test for adenovirus despite the symptoms and learning of their first case of the illness the day before her visit.

“There should have been greater disclosure and transparency about the existence of the mold,” sad dad Ian. “It was just kind of brushed off — ‘Oh, we’re going to clean it. Don’t worry.’”

University officials said they first heard of adenovirus on Nov. 1; on Nov. 2, Olivia visited the health center and complained of trouble breathing.

She was released and treated later at Johns Hopkins Hospital before she died. The Paregols claim the doctors told them they would have prescribed a different treatment had they known their daughter was suffering from adenovirus.

“We’ve cried for days and then we go numb and then we are in disbelief,” said Olivia’s dad. “And it’s just — no one should have to do this. You can’t imagine, you know, having to go and pick out a plot for your daughter. It’s not the way it’s supposed to work.”

A university spokesperson said the illnesses related to adenovirus have been found in students living both on and off campus and it’s not affected by mold.

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