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Mumps spreading at Ohio State and into the community

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Five new cases of mumps have been reported at Ohio State since the students returned from spring break on March 17, Reuters is advising in a March 18 story. The outbreak now includes 28 patients, 23 students, one university staffer and four members of the community with connections to the university.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that three of the mumps patients were hospitalized for a day each. There are no current plans to offer a mumps vaccine booster. Prevention efforts are centered on good hand hygiene and cough-and-sneeze etiquette.

The OSU Student Health Services blog discussed the mumps in a piece on March 13. They state that the incubation period for the illness can range from 12 to 25 days. Patients are contagious from two days before to five days after they develop symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control describe the symptoms of mumps as:

fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis)

Up to half of people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and therefore do not know they were infected with mumps.

The vaccine for mumps was first licensed in the United States in 1967, the CDC states. It reports that:

This vaccine is included in the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccines. Two doses of mumps vaccine are 88% (range: 66-95%) effective at preventing the disease; one dose is 78% (range: 49%−92%) effective.

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