The contagious viral disease continues to increase in numbers at several college campuses in Ohio and Wisconsin, according to health officials in both states.

The outbreak in Central Ohio, affecting Franklin and Delaware counties, is now up to 263 cases, according to Columbus Public Health April 22–making the number of cases reported in this outbreak, more than half as many mumps cases as there were nationwide last year.

Image/Columbus Public Health Facebook page
Image/Columbus Public Health Facebook page

Of this total, 160 mumps cases are linked to the Ohio State University outbreak. The outbreak on campus was first reported in early March.

New information from Columbus health officials reveal that an undisclosed number of complications from mumps have been reported. These complications include inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in post pubescent males, inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) in post pubescent females, deafness and hospitalizations.

Also in Columbus, the Columbus State Community College has reported four mumps cases in students, prompting a mumps vaccination clinic for Wednesday and Thursday, Apr. 23 and 24. The vaccines will be provided to students free of charge.

In Wisconsin, the University Health Services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison reported Monday two additional mumps cases, bringing the total to seven on campus. Additionally, one case of the viral disease has been reported from the UW- La Crosse campus.

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) infemales who have reached puberty and deafness. Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.