Many of these students have since recovered and returned to classes.
“While many students who contracted mumps earlier this semester are no longer infectious, we are still continuing to see several new cases each week on campus,” said Shelley Haffner, infectious disease manager at University Health Services. “It is important that everyone take steps not only to protect themselves from possible exposure, but also to prevent exposing others should they develop symptoms.”
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 after infection. 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.
University Health Services is recommending that anyone showing symptoms of mumps not attend large social functions, such as the Blue-White Game on April 22, in an effort to stop further spread of the disease.
According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2,305 mumps cases have been reported in the US this year through Apr. 8. Of this total, 105 cases have been reported in Pennsylvania.
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