At least six students at the University of Iowa in Iowa City have contracted the mumps recently, according to school Vice President for Student Life, Tom Rocklin Friday, making UI the third midwestern school to report clusters of the viral disease this summer just before the beginning of the fall semester.
Rocklin reminds members of the campus community to make sure they’re up-to-date on their vaccinations.
Earlier it has been reported that the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has reported dozens of mumps cases this summer prompting vaccination clinics for students and staff to receive booster MMR vaccines.
Vaccination clinics are ongoing at the McKinley Health Center all next week.
In addition, the University of Missouri has reported a cluster of mumps cases in recent weeks. The most recent numbers according to the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services is nine confirmed cases and four probable cases of mumps have been identified in the Columbia area. The Student Health Center is working with local and state public health to identify other possible cases and to minimize or prevent additional cases.
Iowa Student Health & Wellness wants you to be alert to the signs and symptoms of mumps, so that if you experience any of these symptoms, you will know what steps to take to avoid spreading it to others.
Signs and symptoms of mumps include: Fever, Headache, Muscle aches, Fatigue, Loss of appetite and Swollen and tender salivary glands, under the ears on one or both sides.
Mumps is spread through contact with saliva or mucous from the mouth, nose or throat.
An infected person can spread the virus by: coughing, sneezing, talking, sharing drinks or utensils and touching objects with unwashed hands.
The period of contagiousness starts BEFORE the jaw swelling and lasts for 5 days AFTER swelling begins. If you are ill with the symptoms listed above: STAY HOME and away from others and WASH your hands frequently. CALL our Nurseline at 335-9704. We will guide you on the best actions to take for your health and the health of your fellow students. Call us if you have any questions or concerns.
Having (2) MMR vaccines provides the highest protection from this disease. Besides making sure you have both MMR vaccines, the best way to protect yourself is to clean your hands often, with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
As of July 24, there has been 236 mumps cases reported nationally. In 2014, more than 1,000 cases were reported in the worst year since 2010.
In 2006, the United States experienced a multi-state mumps outbreak involving more than 6,500 reported cases. This resurgence predominantly affected college-aged students living in the Midwest, with outbreaks occurring on many different Midwestern college campuses.
Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today