About a week after a mumps case was confirmed in a California State University San Marcos undergraduate student, county health officials are reporting another case in an area college.
A person at San Diego Christian College in Santee has been diagnosed with mumps and may have exposed others on the campus on Sept. 16, 19 and 20.
“People who were on the campus during normal school hours on those days may have been exposed and could become ill with mumps 12-25 days later,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “We are encouraging immunizations for students and staff who are not up-to-date.”
The fully immunized individual was not hospitalized and has recovered. It is not clear where the person was exposed to the viral illness, but there is no apparent relationship to the possible mumps exposure reported last week at California State University San Marcos.
Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease. It is spread by coughing, sneezing or close contact with an infected person. Mumps causes a fever, headache, earache, and inflammation of the salivary glands which results in swelling and tenderness at the angle of the jaw. Anyone who thinks that they have mumps should contact their provider before going for care so proper precautions can be taken to prevent exposure to others.
Severe complications are rare, but can include meningitis, decreased fertility, permanent hearing loss, and, in extreme cases, fetal loss during first trimester of pregnancy. There is no treatment for mumps. Most people recover without problems.
The best way to prevent mumps is by getting the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. Two doses of the vaccine are recommended—one at 12 to 15 months of age and another at 4 to 6 years of age. A third booster shot is recommended for those in close living conditions when there is an outbreak.