COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ)—There have been 31 confirmed or suspected cases of viral meningitis among the University of Maryland student population, and the University Health Center says it is continuing to see levels of activity.

In a letter to the student body, the health center confirms 19 of those students have been hospitalized.

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The virus causing the infection has been confirmed as a strain of enterovirus called ECHO virus, a common cause of viral meningitis outbreaks. In otherwise healthy people, the course of the illness is generally uncomfortable and similar to the flu– fever, headache, light sensitivity and stiff neck. Those affected typically have symptoms for three to five days.

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There is no specific treatment or vaccine for this infection. But the health center makes the distinction that this is not bacterial meningitis, which is much more dangerous.

Recommendations to prevent the spread of ECHO virus include washing hands frequently, staying at home if ill, and avoid kissing and sharing glasses and utensils.

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