News Article Details

9 more cases of mumps reported at Penn State days before Pa. Special Olympics

Centre Daily Times - 5/30/2018

May 30--Just two days ahead of the Pennsylvania Summer Olympics opening, Penn State University Health Services reported Tuesday that University Park campus has seen nine new mumps cases since May 1, with four in the past week.

Penn State said in a press release that with Special Olympics and summer camps drawing a large number of visitors to campus in the coming weeks, those who don't have presumed immunity to mumps should take precautions to avoid exposure.

Mumps, a disease caused by a virus, is characterized by swelling of the salivary glands, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Symptoms begin about 16 to 18 days after infection and include tender and swollen glands below the ear and along the jawline and neck, fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite.

Since January, the university has reported 31 mumps cases. All of those identified individuals have had at least two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Some have even had three doses, according to Penn State. The individuals have all been isolated in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pa. Department of Health protocols and recommendations.

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In January, the CDC recommended a third dose of the MMR vaccine for people at an increased risk for mumps during an outbreak -- such as those in prolonged, close-contact settings like university campuses.

"Also, by college age the vaccine-induced immunity of previous vaccinations may have started to fade, making this population more vulnerable," Penn State said.

UHS advises taking precautions against mumps, such as staying away from people who are sick; covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper sleeve; washing your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; and avoiding sharing food and drinks with others.

Additionally, UHS recommends that all students, faculty, staff and campus visitors check with their health care provider to confirm they've received two doses of the MMR. Anyone who doesn't have two doses of the MMR vaccine or immunity through a previous mumps infection should set up an appointment to get the vaccine.

Students who don't have proof of vaccination may be excluded from campus for 25 days after the last possible date of infection, the university release said.

"Although the two-dose MMR series is highly effective for most people, it is important to remember that no vaccine is 100 percent effective for every person. Unfortunately, there is not a good way to determine who has not developed immunity from the two-dose vaccine series. Consider getting a third dose of the vaccine if advised by a health care provider," Penn State said.

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(c)2018 the Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)

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