Following reports of at least seven mumps cases at the University of Alabama, Auburn University health officials reported Tuesday a confirmed mumps case in a undergraduate student that lives off-campus.
The school released the following letter concerning mumps:
The risk of mumps can be significantly reduced with two measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccines, which most people get as children. With few exceptions, students admitted to Auburn University are required to be immunized for mumps and other contagious diseases. For persons who have not received two doses of the vaccine, the Alabama Department of Public Health strongly recommends the following:
- Persons who received only one dose of MMR vaccine should immediately receive a second MMR vaccination at their doctor’s office or county health department.
- Persons who do not have any record of MMR vaccination either should get both doses, or should not attend classes for 25 days after exposure to mumps. For those who may have been directly exposed to the individual who tested positive for mumps, the 25-day exposure would end March 28, 2017.
Members of the Auburn University campus community who feel they may have been in contact with this student and have noticed a swelling of the glands below their ears are urged to get screened for mumps. Testing is available at the Auburn University Medical Clinic or through your personal physician.
Mumps is spread through coughing and sneezing and sharing cups and utensils. While vaccination is the best protection against mumps, even people who are vaccinated can become infected. People should also prevent spreading mumps and other illnesses by covering coughs and sneezes, washing their hands frequently with soap and water, and not sharing food and drinks.
Mumps symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low fever, tiredness and muscle aches. People usually develop symptoms 14-18 days after being exposed to the virus that causes mumps, but it can be as long as 25 days. People who think they have mumps should contact their health care provider, and anyone suspected of having mumps should stay home while they’re contagious – five days after swollen glands occur.