Four mumps cases confirmed in Milwaukee, two on UWM campus

More than 20 confirmed cases of mumps have been reported statewide this year.

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by Shakara Robinson
by Marshanna Hester

MILWAUKEE -- City health officials are investigating four confirmed mumps cases in Milwaukee, including confirmations among UW-Milwaukee students.

The university told students about two confimed cases at the school in an e-mail Wednesday, and said its health officials are working with the City of Milwaukee Health Department to see if there are more possible cases.

As of Thursday, the City of Milwaukee Health Department said there are four confirmed cases city wide, including the UW-Milwaukee cases. 

At UW-Milwaukee, there are two confirmed cases and one suspected case. 

Campus health officials say those individuals with the virus have both of the recommeded doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR vaccine. The one suspected case is believed to have the vaccine also.

More than 20 confirmed cases of mumps have been reported statewide this year, including seven at UW-Madison and one at UW-La Crosse.

Dr. Juile Bonner is the director of the Norris Health Center. She said a majority those infected across Wisconsin have the MMR vaccine.

She said the reason is because the vaccine is 95 percent effective, leaving a 5 percent chance of getting sick. 

Mumps is a contagious viral infection spread through coughing, sneezing, talking or through contact with saliva.

Dr. Bonner said some may be walking around not knowing they have the virus as it can take 16 to 18 days before symptoms show up.

"I mean there are some more serious complications swelling of the testicles and there are low numbers, but it's not zero in terms of individuals who end up having those complications and may be hospitalized," she said.

The primary and best-known symptom of the infection is swollen salivary glands that cause the cheeks to look puffy. Others include flu like symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue.

Students are encouraged to check their immunization records to make sure they've had two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Students who have not had both doses can be vaccinated at no cost at Norris Health Center, the school's on-site clinic, by appointment by calling (414) 229-4716.

The center is in the process of transferring an intial 50 to 100 doses from local and state health facilities.

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