Truman State University’s Student Health Center director Brenda Higgins reported Tuesday three confirmed cases of mumps among students on campus in an email sent to students and faculty. The health center is also in the process of evaluating six other potential cases of mumps.
Higgins says people who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine are nine times less likely to get mumps than people who are not vaccinated, according to the email. However, those who have received vaccinations are still able to contract the disease especially if they have prolonged contact with someone who has mumps.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common symptoms of the mumps include:
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Significant painful swelling of the parotid glands around the ear and jaw
In recent years there has been a decrease in confirmed cases of mumps but cases of mumps can still emerge in densely populated areas such as university campuses.
“Prior to 1967 and mumps vaccination, mumps was a universal disease of childhood but since the vaccination became widespread, there has been more than a 99 percent decrease in mumps cases in the US,” Higgins says. “However, outbreaks do occur — especially in places where people have prolonged, close contact, such as universities.”
Higgins says Truman’s campus has not seen a case of mumps in recent years but the University of Missouri saw over 300 cases of mumps last semester, which could have been the origin of the initial contact.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact the Student Health Center at 660-785-4182 or contact your medical provider.