In a letter to the campus community Wednesday from Vince WinklerPrins, MD, FAAFP, Assistant VP, Student Health Services at Georgetown University, the school reported a case of a student diagnosed with mumps.

Stethoscope Public domain image/Darnyi Zsóka
Public domain image/Darnyi Zsóka

This has prompted school officials to remind student to ensure they’ve received the mumps vaccine.

Georgetown joins a long list of colleges and universities reporting mumps cases and outbreaks in 2016- State University of New York at Buffalo,Indiana University, University of Kentucky, University of San Diego, University of Southern Maine, Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, University of Missouri, Tufts University, SUNY New Paltz and Harvard University, among others.

Related: University of Missouri mumps cases near 200, third MMR vaccine recommended

Mumps is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is spread through indirect or direct contact with an infected person’s nose or throat droplets, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes because of inflammation of the salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides. Other common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease.

Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks. However, mumps can occasionally cause severe complications, especially in adults. Treatment includes rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medicine to reduce fever and discomfort. Since mumps is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not used as a treatment.

People with mumps can spread the infection for up to two days before, and five days after, symptoms develop, so those infected can spread the disease before they feel sick. Symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12 to 25 days after infection.

Nationally, the CDC has received reports of more than 4,200 mumps cases through Dec. 3, the most cases seen in a decade.

LISTEN: Arkansas, mumps and the MMR vaccine: A discussion with Dr Dirk Haselow