A possible, though low probability, case of mumps has been reported on campus and onset of symptoms was September 19th. The case was in a vaccinated individual with other possible causes of an enlarged parotid gland.  And blood work so far has been unable to confirm or refute the presence of the infection.

McKinley Health Center has notified students and instructors in the Chemistry Department regarding possible exposure. These emails triggered social media announcements and multiple campus inquiries.

We see a few cases of mumps on campus each year and the campus had a massive immunization campaign in 2015 due to the number of cases identified. The Center for Disease Control does not consider an outbreak until there have been three confirmed cases.  So far we do not have a confirmed case.

Mumps is transmitted by respiratory droplets and direct contact with an infected individual.  It primarily spreads among susceptible individuals living in close quarters, such as family members, college dormitories, and classrooms.  The incubation period is 16 to 18 days from exposure to onset of symptoms. The infected individual is infectious for up to seven days prior to symptoms and up to about 7 days after onset.  Prevention is best accomplished by being immunized with the MMR vaccine, which includes all students except those with a medical or religious waiver.  In the current situation, if this were a confirmed case of mumps and individuals were exposed and infected, we would expect to see symptoms appearing prior to October 10.  

Since mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, persons may prevent contracting mumps with a few simple actions:

    Get immunized with an MMR if indicated.  For those born after 1957 most children receive an MMR at 12-15 months of age and a second vaccination at 4-6 years of age. For most people, this provides lifelong immunity.
    Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue away after use.
    Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.  If water is not near, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
    Do not share eating and/or drinking utensils.
    Refrain from close contact with individuals who are sick/experiencing symptoms.
    Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  (Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.)

In situations such as this, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, area hospitals, and McKinley Health Center work closely together to ensure the safety of the campus and the community.

Friday, September 27, 2019 - 14:15