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American University reports 5 suspected mumps cases

American University in Washington, DC is reporting that local health officials notified them of five suspected mumps cases, prompting a health alert on campus.

Mumps/THD

According to officials, all affected students have been isolated for five days after their initial symptoms, in accordance with DC Department of Health guidelines.

The DC Department of Health has contacted the affected students to identify any other potentially affected students who might be at direct risk of contracting mumps.

With few exceptions, all students under the age of 26 at American University have received vaccinations against Mumps, so the chance of spreading to fellow students should be minimal.

Mumps is a viral infection that causes fever, swelling or tenderness to one or more salivary glands, usually the parotid gland that is located along the jaw in front of the ear. The virus typically goes away on its own and patients fully recover.

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Because mumps is usually spread through contact with saliva, they recommend that people do not share drinks, food or eating utensils with others over the next few months. In addition, as with many infectious illnesses, frequent hand washing is an important way to prevent spread of the illness.

Students with symptoms are advised to contact the Student Health Center.

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