In a follow-up on the mumps outbreak at Southeast Missouri State University at Cape Girardeau, MO, the Campus Health Clinic now reports the University has received 51 confirmed reports of Southeast students infected with mumps.

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.

The University continues to receive reports of students presenting to their health care provider or the Campus Health Clinic with symptoms of mumps. As students are evaluated by the Campus Health Clinic they are tested in accordance with the State of Missouri protocol outlined by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Students living on campus are encouraged, where possible, to leave the campus and return home to self-quarantine. A majority of the confirmed cases are generally among students who are members of our Greek student community, specifically our fraternity community.

Additionally, the campus has suspected cases of mumps from students who are symptomatic and these students are currently self-quarantined while their test results are evaluated by the State of Missouri. All confirmed cases are shared with the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center and the campus has been working with both local and State of Missouri public health agencies in response to the confirmed and suspected cases.

At the University of Missouri-Columbia, since the beginning of the Fall Semester on August 22, 2016, 378 cases of mumps have been identified (both confirmed and probable) in Mizzou students.

The state of Missouri has reported 296 mumps cases in 2017 through Apr. 8, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The mumps are a vaccine preventable virus which is spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets or direct contact with contaminated items. The parotid glands, located between the ear and the jaw, are often swollen. Unvaccinated children between the ages of 5 and 14 are most commonly infected. Other organs, such as the testes, the central nervous system, and the pancreas, can be affected by the virus. The incubation period is usually 16 to 18 days, but cases may occur from 12 to 25 days after exposure.

Symptoms include:

  • Face pain
  • Swelling of the parotid glands
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Swelling of the temples or jaw
  • Testicle pain

There is no specific treatment of mumps other than treating the symptoms. But once an individual has had mumps, he/she is immune to it for life.

To prevent the mumps, individuals can be vaccinated. The MMR immunization protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, and should be administered to children 12-15 months old. Vaccination is repeated between 4 and 6 years of age, or between 11 and 12 years of age.

To help prevent the spread of mumps, anyone who has the mumps should not return to child care, school or work until nine (9) days after symptoms began or until they are well, whichever is longer.