San Diego health officials have reported a mumps case in an undergraduate student at California State University San Marcos. The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency says the student may have exposed others on campus between Sept. 6-9 and 12-14.
The student lived off campus and was up-to-date with mumps vaccinations, but was diagnosed with the highly contagious viral disease by blood tests reported to the County this week. The student was not hospitalized and has recovered.
People on the university campus between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on September 6-9 and 12-14, may have been exposed to mumps, particularly in Science Hall1, Science Hall 2 or Markstein Hall. Individuals can become ill with mumps 12-25 days after exposure.
This case is not related to the possible mumps exposure at the Casbah music venue on August 28. It is not known where the student was exposed to the viral illness.
“Cal State San Marcos is working closely with the County to notify individuals who were directly exposed to the person with mumps,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “We are encouraging immunizations for students and staff who are not up-to-date.”
Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease. It is spread by coughing, sneezing or close contact with an infected person. Mumps causes a fever, headache, earache, and inflammation of the salivary glands which results in swelling and tenderness at the angle of the jaw. Anyone who thinks that they may have mumps should contact their provider before going for care so proper precautions can be taken to prevent exposure to others.
Severe complications are rare, but can include meningitis, decreased fertility, permanent hearing loss, and, in extreme cases, fetal loss during first trimester of pregnancy. There is no treatment for mumps. Most people recover without problems.
The best way to prevent mumps is by getting the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. Two doses of the vaccine are recommended—one at 12 to 15 months of age and another at 4 to 6 years of age. A third booster shot is recommended for those in close living conditions when there is an outbreak.
Mumps is becoming increasingly more common on college campuses in the United States. The disease has been reported on multiple college campuses in 2016 including the 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 and Harvard University, among others.
2016 has seen the most mumps cases in the US since 2010. Through Sep. 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,897 cases.