Nearly a dozen students diagnosed with mumps

By Daily Illini Staff Report

About a dozen students have been diagnosed with the mumps at the McKinley Health Center after returning from spring break.

The outbreak seems to be part of a larger emergence of the illness throughout the Midwest, according to a press release from the McKinley Health Center. 

Nationwide, Ohio State University is reporting the highest number of mumps cases with 172 cases linked to the school. A number of cases have also been reported at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mumps is a virus that is easily transmitted from one individual to another by the sharing of liquids or eating utensils.

A small proportion of people with the disease may suffer more serious consequences, including infertility, abdominal pain or neurologic abnormalities, according to the release. 

Mumps does not have a specific medicinal cure, but the symptoms can be handled by following recommendations made by a health care professional. 

A person may come down with mumps 12 to 15 days after exposure and will be contagious for five to seven days after the onset of symptoms. 

As of right now, there is no particular pattern seen in those who have been diagnosed with mumps.

Infected individuals are kept quarantined during their contagious period and many students are sent home to their parents where they can receive comfortable care.

Residents of residential halls and fraternity homes where a case of mumps is reported receive an email stating that a member of the community has contracted the disease and gives them information about the illness.

Roommates living with someone diagnosed with mumps is given counseling for the possibilities of mumps and many undergo blood tests to test their immunity to the illness. 

Almost every University student received two shots of the mumps vaccination, according to the release.

Out of people who received two vaccinations for mumps, 85 percent can expect to be completely protected. The other 15 percent could come down with mumps, according to the release. 

There is limited data regarding the effectiveness of administering a third shot. Before offering students a third shot, the University will consult local, state and national officials.