In a follow-up on the mumps situation in North Carolina, officials with the M.S. Shook Student Health Service at Appalachian State University report an additional confirmed case of mumps in a student, bringing the total to three.
In addition, this brings the total mumps cases in Watauga County to four this year.
This has prompted school officials to remind students going away for summer break to “exercise caution and be vigilant about caring for yourself and others”.
Appalachian officials have been working in close coordination with state and county health officials since the first case of mumps was identified as a possibility. They have interviewed ill students about their activities during their periods of contagion, identified and sought out anyone who has come into contact with the ill students, reviewed their immunization records, immunized them if necessary and made sure they are aware of the signs and symptoms of mumps.
North Carolina state law requires two immunization vaccinations before enrolling in school, college or university for the first time. There are, however exceptions, including religious and medical exemptions.
State and local health officials encourage students who have exercised the religious exemption from immunizations to reconsider this decision.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend two doses of the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The recommended two doses of the vaccine provide approximately 88 percent protection against infection. A single dose of the vaccine provides approximately 78 percent protection.
Symptoms of mumps are similar to those of other illnesses, like cold and flu. The virus is spread through close contact, like kissing, drinking after someone else, coughing or sneezing. If you are not feeling well, do not engage in social activity, share drinks, towels, clothing or other items with anyone.
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