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The mumps outbreak affecting Syracuse University (SU) students has grown to at least 13 cases, according to the Onondaga County Health Department. The outbreak began the last week of August.

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.

According to Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta, the students were diagnosed in a timely manner and have been isolated to prevent any further spread of the disease.

Dr. Gupta explained, “It is important to remember that mumps is a vaccine preventable disease and because of high vaccination rates, mumps is no longer very common in the United States.” She further explained that although all of the cases have involved students that were fully vaccinated against mumps, sporadic cases can still occur among vaccinated individuals and outbreaks have occurred on college campuses across New York State and the US. It is important to note that the best way to protect against mumps is to get the measles-mumps-rubella shot (MMR shot), said Gupta.

Last week it was announced that men’s and women’s lacrosse teams will not participate in fall season events due to a current mumps outbreak among players. However, the unveiling of the Roy Simmons Sr and Roy Simmons Jr statue scheduled for Saturday outside of the Ensley Athletic Center will go on.

Mumps is a serious contagious viral disease passed through saliva and respiratory secretions of an ill individual.

Symptoms include: fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears or along the jawline on one or both sides. Severe symptoms can include meningitis and swelling of the testis. An ill person can transmit the disease for two days before the onset of swollen salivary glands and 5 days afterwards. There is no specific treatment.

To prevent the spread of mumps:

  • Check with your doctor to be sure that your vaccinations are up to date. The mumps vaccine is given as part of the MMR shot.
  • If you have been in contact with a person diagnosed with mumps, watch for symptoms for 25 days.
  • If you have swollen salivary glands under your ears on one or both sides, seek medical care immediately and stay out of work and/or school for five days. Inform the     student health service of your illness.
  • Avoid sharing drinks, cover your cough, and stay home if you are sick.


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