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Mumps outbreak expands to two New York college campuses

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A health scare at New York's Fordham University expands as the number of suspected mumps cases grows to 13.

According to the New York Post, university officials reported early Thursday that it had seen 10 cases since January, with nine of the them reported in the last three days. Within hours, the number increased to 13, including new cases on the Rose Hill campus in The Bronx and on the Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan.

“All the students with suspected mumps infections have either returned home or have been isolated from other residents during the infectious phase of the illness,” Fordham officials said. “Typically mumps patients are contagious for two days prior to the outbreak of symptoms and five days after.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes mumps as a highly contagious disease that is caused by the mumps virus.

Symptoms usually arise 16 - 18 days after infection and vary from mild to severe. They include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of salivary glands

Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps. Effectiveness depends on type of vaccine received. In 2005, high, two-dose vaccines reduced disease rates by 99 percent, according to the CDC.

No lab tests have confirmed the disease at Fordham is mumps, but the university said “that is the most likely diagnosis.”