By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting one laboratory-confirmed case of the mumps affecting one off-campus Western Illinois University student in Macomb.

Infographic aimed at college students depicting symptoms of mumps and steps they can take to protect themselves.

Health officials are working with WIU’s Beu Health Center and the McDonough County Health Department to investigate and contain the case.

According to a mumps fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mumps virus spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, kissing or talking; sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils; and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache and swelling of the glands close to the jaw.

Students who have any symptoms should isolate themselves and contact Beu Health Center immediately by calling (309) 298-1888.

“Please do not come directly to the health center without calling. If you have mumps symptoms we need to take precautions during your visit so that we do not infect other patients using the health center,” John Smith, Beu Health Center director and interim vice president of Student Services, explained.

If a diagnosis for mumps is made, the student will be encouraged to return home. If that is not an option, the University has quarantine facilities available, Smith added.

In an effort to maintain a healthy campus community, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take the following precautions to avoid the mumps virus:

– Make sure your MMR vaccine is up-to-date. If you are unsure if you received two doses of the MMR vaccine, get vaccinated.

Individuals who have had the mumps virus are immune (an additional vaccination is unnecessary). Students can check immunization records online at Beu Health Center. Students can receive an MMR vaccination by contacting Student Health Services at (309) 298-1888. Faculty and staff contact should contact their healthcare provider.

– Wash your hands well and often with soap and water.

– Do not share eating utensils and beverages with others.

– Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

– Clean frequently touched surfaces with soap and water.

– Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.

Watch for mumps symptoms, even if fully vaccinated. Initial symptoms include:

– Muscle aches
– Loss of appetite
– Generalized discomfort
– Headache
– Low-grade fever
– After a period of one to two days, symptoms may progress to:
– Swelling in one or both of the salivary glands in front of the ears
– Pain / tenderness along the jaw
– Swelling / pain in testicles in males (post-puberty); lower abdominal pain from swelling of ovaries in females who have reached puberty (< 20% of cases)


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