The Central Ohio mumps outbreak that got it’s start at Ohio State University in February this year, appears to be trending down, according to Columbus Public Health spokesman Jose Rodriguez.
Rodriguez told The Lantern this week, “We hope that we are toward the end of the outbreak now. The trend is definitely on our side and it’s definitely trending down.”
On Wednesday, Columbus Public Health reported 483 mumps cases being linked to the Franklin, Delaware and Madison counties’ community outbreak. This total exceeds the total cases reported in the United States in 2013 (438 cases).
There has only been about 30 mumps cases reported in the past nearly two months.
From January 1 to August 15, 2014, 965 people in the United States have been reported to have mumps, according to the CDC.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mumps is a contagiousdisease that is caused by the mumps virus. Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, and is followed by swelling of salivary glands.
Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared.
Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days afterinfection.
It is usually a mild disease, but can occasionally cause serious complications.
The most common complication is inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty; rarely does this lead to fertility problems.
Other rare complications include inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord(encephalitis/meningitis), inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breasts (mastitis) in females who have reached puberty and deafness.
Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.
Rodriguez does cautiously say it’s hard to predict if the number of reported mumps cases might rise again considering some students are now living in close quarters again on campus.
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