Health Care

Department of Health investigates Penn State mumps cases

"It's always concerning to see outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases because we have the tools to prevent them", said Ian Culbert, executive director of the Canadian Public Health Association.

Provost Lauren Robel says IU is taking precautions to stop the spread of mumps by offering immunizations to those who may have been exposed.

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The health department said only one case of mumps was reported in Alabama in 2016.

Wilson explained that even those who get two doses of the vaccine can still sometimes end up with mumps - as seen in 40 per cent of the Toronto cases - as the vaccine is considered about 88 per cent effective at that point. Other symptoms include headache, fever, tiredness, aching and loss of appetite. Mumps can occasionally cause complications, especially in adults. Treatment provides relief for the symptoms, which should disappear in about a week.

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The viral infections are both covered by the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccines. Students may schedule an appointment at University Health Services; faculty and staff should contact their primary care providers. The department is also working with PSU's University Health Services to investigate additional potential cases. During a mumps outbreak, people identified as a contact of a suspected, probable or confirmed case of mumps who do not have proof of vaccination will be excluded from campus for 26 days after the last possible date of exposure. Anyone with a confirmed mumps infection, individuals awaiting test results, or close contacts of anyone with mumps who has not been previously vaccinated, should remain isolated for a recommended period of time as directed by the health department and health care professionals.

Naus recommended self-isolation of the infected individuals for nine days, in particular for the first five days. "People should also wash hands, cover coughs, clean surfaces, and stay home when ill", Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer with ADPH, stated in a press release.

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