March 14, 2016 (COUNTY NEWS SERVICE) Three more undergraduate students at the University of San Diego have been diagnosed with mumps, bringing to five the total number of cases at the school according to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency.
The new cases are close contacts of the first student with mumps, who was confirmed to have the highly contagious viral illness in February. It is not known where the first person was exposed to the disease.
HHSA is working with USD to provide free vaccinations to all undergraduates at the university to prevent the outbreak from spreading. Two vaccination clinics are being held this week on the campus. USD students and staff can call 619-260-4595 for more information.
“Several colleges and universities across the country are currently having mumps outbreaks,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Spring break is going to bring an opportunity for this disease to spread, so students should be sure they are up to date with mumps and all other recommended vaccines.”
Mumps is spread by coughing, sneezing or close contact with an infected person. Typical symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, earache, and inflammation of the salivary glands which results in swelling and tenderness at the angle of the jaw.
Severe complications are rare, but can include meningitis, decreased fertility, permanent hearing loss, and, in extreme cases, fetal loss during first trimester of pregnancy. There is no treatment for mumps. Most people recover without problems.
The best way to prevent mumps is by getting the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. Two doses of the vaccine are recommended—one at 12 to 15 months of age and another at 4 to 6 years of age. A third booster shot is often recommended during an outbreak.
For more information about mumps, other vaccine-preventable diseases, and the vaccines that protect against them, please contact the County HHSA Immunization Program at (866) 358-2966 or visit the website at www.sdiz.org.