Another Massachusetts university is reporting confirmed mumps cases in their student population–this time it’s Tufts University in Medford, according to local media accounts.
University officials say two cases have been confirmed and one is a suspect case.
In an update in the Harvard mumps outbreak, thirteen mumps cases have been confirmed among Harvard University students, as of March 16. A number of additional cases are under investigation by the Cambridge Public Health Department.
Mumps spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or talking; sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others; and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others. People may be able to spread mumps from 2 days before symptom onset to 5 days after symptom onset.
Symptoms (Fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides) typically appear 14-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. Very rarely, the virus can also cause swelling of the heart and joints, meningitis (swelling of the brain and spinal cord), and encephalitis (swelling of the brain itself).
Mumps can be prevented with MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. Most children and young adults have received at least 1 dose of MMR vaccine. Two doses of MMR vaccine are more effective than 1 dose.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Mar. 4, 250 mumps cases were reported nationally.