Mumps Cases on College Campuses Continue to Rise
The New York State Department of Health identified both SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Geneseo as two institutions currently responding to mumps outbreaks as mumps cases on college campuses continue to rise.
Student Health reports there have been no cases of mumps at Canisius this fall. However, college health officials recommend that all campus members (faculty, staff and students) be informed about mumps, how it is spread and vaccination recommendations.
Mumps is a viral illness that presents with non-specific symptoms including muscle aches, low-grade fever, headache, fatigue and loss of appetite. Swelling of the salivary glands typically presents two days after these non-specific symptoms and can be on one or both sides of the face. Initial indication of salivary gland swelling may be earache or tenderness at the angle of the jaw.
The incubation period (time from exposure to onset of illness) is 16-18 days. Transmission is from human to human through droplets released during coughing, sneezing or talking. Transmission can also occur when individuals share items such as drinking glasses, food and eating utensils. Mumps can also be transmitted through contact with surfaces that have been contaminated with infected droplets. Individuals are infectious (time they can spread the virus to others) two days before to five days after salivary glands swell.
Vaccination is the best prevention. Student Health strongly recommends all campus members born on or after 1/1/1957 check with their health care provider to be sure they have been vaccinated with two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine or have laboratory confirmed immunity to mumps disease.
Those individuals born before 1957 are considered by New York State to be immune to mumps through natural exposure. Anyone wishing to confirm his/her immunity, should contact his/her health care provider and request a laboratory confirmation blood test.
Student Health recommends anyone experiencing symptoms, even if vaccinated, should stay at home and contact his/her health care provider.
To read more about mumps, go to www.cdc.gov/mumps/outbreaks.html.
Submitted by: Patricia Creahan, APRN-BC, director, Student Health Center