COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — A warning at the University of Maryland as a large number of students come down with the flu. The university is asking patients to isolate themselves to stop the spread. This year’s stubborn flu strain has already turned deadly.

Rick Ritter has more on the growing flu fears.

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The university is urging students to stay away from class and social events if they have any illness with a fever.

CDC officials say history shows this month is typically the worst for flu activity.

Coughing, sneezing, and high fever. This year’s flu season continues to rip right through our area.

“You see a lot of kids coughing and sneezing lately,” UMD junior, Ariana Thompson said.

In college park, UMD officials put students on high alert sending out a letter saying:

“We’re encouraging students with illness associated with a fever to isolate themselves from the general public until the fever has resolved for 24 hours,” Thompson said.

Many like Ariana Thompson say the outbreak has been the talk of the campus.

“You touch everything people have already touched, sitting down at the same desks, so it’s very easy to catch something,” Thompson said.

Others mad sure they’re vaccinated.

“My parents usually encourage me to go out and get prepared for the flu by getting a flu shot,” UMD junior, Christopher Lowman said.

But this year’s vaccine is one of the least effective in a decade.

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“Compared to last year, I’d say we’ve seen significantly more and more cases,” Dr. Emmanuel Oke with Sinai Hospital said.

Just days ago, flu complications killed 22-year-old Towson native, Will Hauver.

A senior captain who played lacrosse at Rollins College in Florida and 22-year-old graduate of McDonogh School in Owings Mills.

WJZ spoke with his mother by phone who says Will battled type 1 diabetes.

Will’s parents called him a loving kid and the kindest person ever. A tragedy that shows just how lethal the flu can be for those with a medical condition.

“It’s def scary when you hear something like that,” Lowman said.

This season is far from over for the hard-hitting virus. Flu season stretches into April and May.

McDonogh officials released a statement saying they’re saddened to hear about the passing of Will. A memorial service will be held for him, Saturday afternoon at McDonogh School.

Read the full statement below:

“We are saddened to share the news that Will Hauver, a member of the Class of 2011, passed away suddenly on Monday, February 2 from complications related to an illness. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his parents, Lyndall and Bob, and his siblings, Megan and Tommy. Will was a senior at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where he was majoring in communication studies. He was also a senior captain for the school’s lacrosse team. A memorial service will take place in the Ceres M. Horn Theatre at McDonogh on Saturday, February 7 at 2:00 p.m.”

More than 60 children have died from the flu in the U.S.A so far this season.


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Rick Ritter