In a follow-up on the mumps outbreak at Penn State University, University Health Services (UHS) is reporting Forty-nine probable or confirmed mumps cases are being investigated at University Park. Of these 49 cases, 23 have been confirmed by lab tests since Jan. 29.

Infographic aimed at college students depicting symptoms of mumps and steps they can take to protect themselves.
Infographic aimed at college students depicting symptoms of mumps and steps they can take to protect themselves.

The outbreak has prompted Penn State UHS to offer  a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine clinic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, in Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park.

The MMR vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella. Students can schedule an appointment for the clinic through MyUHS.

Students who have not had a first or second dose of MMR or students who have been recommended to receive a third dose of the vaccine should attend the clinic. All students, including those seeking a third dose of MMR, are welcome to attend the clinic if they would like to be vaccinated to minimize the risk of contracting mumps.

Anyone receiving the vaccination during the March 23 clinic will have the vaccine administrative fee waived, so the cost to the student will be $99. Students should bring a photo ID and health insurance card to the clinic. If a student does not provide health insurance information, the cost will be charged to their Bursar account.

During a mumps outbreak, people identified as a contact of a probable or confirmed case of mumps who do not have proof of immunity will be excluded from campus for 26 days after the last possible date of exposure.

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.