The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) was recently notified by the University of Alabama (UA) Student Health Center that University of Alabama students were recently treated for mumps.

From January 27, 2017 through February 23, 2017, there have been five cases of mumps in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

ADPH is investigating these notifiable disease cases and working closely with UA to contact potentially exposed people.

Mumps virus/CDC
Mumps virus/CDC

While UA has a highly vaccinated population of students, mumps can still occur in vaccinated communities, particularly in close-contact settings such as schools, colleges and camps. However, high vaccination coverage helps to limit the size, duration and spread of mumps.

During this investigation, ADPH recommends that UA students, faculty and staff not vaccinated with two doses of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR), immediately receive a second MMR at Student Health Center, their doctor, or health department. ADPH strongly recommends students who do not have any record of MMR and decline to be vaccinated should not attend class for 25 days after exposure to mumps.

Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer, ADPH, states, “The risk of mumps can be significantly reduced with two MMR vaccines. People should also wash hands, cover coughs, clean surfaces, and stay home when ill.” MMR vaccine is a childhood vaccine recommended at 12-15 months and 4-6 years of age.

With limited exceptions, the University requires all students to be immunized against mumps and other infectious diseases.