A student at Montana State University has been diagnosed with mumps, a viral infection. No other cases have been detected as of late Thursday, and public health officials are working to limit the risk of additional cases. Health officials believe the risks of transmission of the disease are reduced because the person diagnosed with mumps lives off campus and has a limited number of close contacts.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department is working closely with MSU University Health Partners medical staff, as well as health care providers and partners at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, to identify those most at risk for contracting mumps and to implement infection control measures recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
It is important for MSU students and staff and the community at large to know that most people have significant protection against mumps through childhood immunizations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and required by MSU and schools in most states. While mumps does have some serious but rare potential health effects, the risk of these outcomes is significantly reduced by the vaccine and infection control precautions being pursued by the health department and MSU.
“The best thing that we can do to protect ourselves against mumps is to be vaccinated,” said Matt Kelley, Health Officer with Gallatin City-County Health Department. “Mumps can be a serious disease, but vaccines and infection control measures have made the most serious side effects exceedingly rare.”
The Gallatin City-County Health Department is working to identify and monitor close contacts of the person diagnosed with mumps in order to detect new cases early and prevent additional cases. The Health Department will be contacting those close contacts to provide information and health care guidance. In most cases, people who are most susceptible to mumps are those who have not been vaccinated against the disease.