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Mumps Outbreaks Reported in School Systems of Three States

SEP 22, 2016 | KRISTI ROSA
New York State Health Commissioner, Howard Zucker, MD, JD, said, “We are warning colleges and universities in New York State and beyond that the outbreak of mumps in Long Beach could lead to other cases. SUNY Oswego and SUNY Plattsburgh both have high percentages of vaccinated students, and we appreciate their cooperation in doing everything they can to prevent the spread of mumps on their campuses. We urge students, faculty and staff members with symptoms that could indicate mumps to seek medical care.”

Mumps is a highly contagious disease that can be transmitted through sneezing and coughing due to the fact that the disease lives within saliva and fluid secretions within the mouth, nose, and throat. The best way to prevent acquiring mumps is to receive the recommended two-dose vaccination of MMR or MMRV (Mumps, Measles, Rubella, and Varicella). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children under 6 years, the first dose of the vaccine should be administered between the ages of 12 to 15 months and the second dose should be administered between the ages of 4 to 6 years. Children between the ages of 7 and 18, who had never received this vaccination should be administered with the first dose and then in four weeks’ time, the second. Adults should receive one dose of the vaccine if born in or after the year 1957, according to the AOH press release.

Symptoms of mumps are usually exhibited in the 16 to 18 days after exposure, but they have still been reported to appear within 25 days. These symptoms include: swollen cheeks/jaw due to swollen salivary glands that are often very painful, fever, headaches, and loss of appetite, among others, according to the CDC. Those who are exhibiting these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

Other preventive measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of mumps is: performing good hand hygiene (washing hands with soap and water often throughout the day), covering your nose as well as your mouth with a tissue or your elbow when sneezing or coughing, disinfecting areas that may be infected, not sharing anything that may contain saliva (food, water), and saying home if infected, according to the New York DOH press release.
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