The contagious viral infection, mumps has been reported with increased frequency on college campuses in recent weeks with clusters reported from Indiana University, Butler University, the University of Kentucky and Harvard among others.


Now, the University of Southern Maine (USM) in Portland is reporting a confirmed case of the viral disease.

In a notification letter to students earlier this week from Lisa Belanger, NP Director, Health Services, she writes: Even if you have been fully vaccinated, we recommend that you minimize your contact with others for 5 days if you are experiencing mumps-like symptoms. This may require that you do not attend class, work, sports activities or other gatherings. We also recommend that you contact us here at Health & Counseling Services (207) 780-5411 so that we can assist you with receiving the care that you need.

Because mumps is a virus, it does not respond to antibiotics or other medications. Symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection but can range from 12 to 25 days. Generally, mumps is a mild illness, and some people may not have any symptoms. While complications and more serious issues can result from a mumps infection, they are generally rare, with a 1 percent to 3 percent complication rate. Treatment for mumps is geared toward alleviating symptoms. Bed rest, a soft diet, and a pain reliever for aches are often recommended.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine prevents most, but not all, cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. Two doses of the vaccine are 88% (range: 66 to 95%) effective at protecting against mumps; one dose is 78% (range: 49% to 92%) effective. Outbreaks can still occur in highly vaccinated U.S. communities, particularly in close-contact settings. In recent years, outbreaks have occurred in schools, colleges, and camps. However, high vaccination coverage helps limit the size, duration, and spread of mumps outbreaks.