In the past two months, the mumps outbreak at the State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY New Paltz) has grown to 46 confirmed cases, according to the Student Health Service Director, Dr. Jack Ordway Thursday.
The affected students, who have been immunized against mumps, have been isolated for the recommended period of time. Student athletes and resident students, in particular, have been educated about how to reduce exposure to mumps. Immunizations work but are not 100% effective.
Nineteen students who have not been immunized have been sent home until Dec. 23, per Ulster County Health Department and the New York State Health Department guidelines. Student Affairs has been and will continue to notify faculty whose students are impacted by this exclusion from campus.
Mumps is caused by a respiratory virus, whose symptoms include painful swelling of the salivary glands near the ears and under the jaw, which can occur on one or both sides of the face. This swelling may be associated with other non-specific symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and decreased appetite.
The transmission of mumps is through close contact, sharing of utensils, drinking glasses, and saliva contact (kissing). Washing hands is recommended per the Centers for Disease Control.
Nationally, the CDC has received reports of more than 4,200 mumps cases through Dec. 3, the most cases seen in a decade.
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