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18 Confirmed Cases of Mumps Reported at UW-Whitewater

As of November 23, there are 18 confirmed cases of mumps that have been identified in individuals who attend UW-Whitewater. Across the state, 33 confirmed cases of mumps have been reported in 2015.  

UW-Whitewater University Health and Counseling Services is working closely with the Walworth County Health Department to follow up on these cases and investigate their close contacts. To stay healthy and prevent spreading the illness as you travel or leave campus for the Thanksgiving holiday, the following measures are strongly recommended:  

1.   Check your immunization records. Check your immunization records to make sure you have had two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Vaccination with two doses of the MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective way to prevent up to 95% of mumps infections for young adults. Individuals born before 1957 are likely to have had mumps as a child and are not generally considered to need vaccination. You can access your immunization records at the Public Immunization Record Access portal of the Wisconsin Immunization Registry: https://www.dhswir.org/PR/clientSearch.do?language=en

Faculty and staff who have not been vaccinated should visit their private health care provider or pharmacy. Students can get vaccinated at no cost at UHCS and should call 262-472-1300 to make an appointment.  

2.   Follow these preventive actions. Infection can be spread two days prior to symptoms and people with two doses of MMR can still be infected. Mumps is spread from an infected person through coughing, sneezing, or talking or through contact with saliva. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, sneeze and cough into a tissue or your elbow and avoid sharing drinks, food and utensils.   

3.   Watch for symptoms, even if you have been vaccinated. Early symptoms usually begin 16 to 18 days after exposure and may include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and respiratory symptoms (e.g. nasal congestion, cough). Swelling of the cheek and jaw area (salivary glands) is a classic symptom of mumps and may first be noted as earache or tenderness at the jaw line.  Sometimes mumps can cause tenderness or swelling of the testicles. In some cases, mumps infection can result in complications that can be severe and result in hospitalization. Students who experience symptoms should immediately call UHCS, 262-472-1300, or their private health care provider if away from campus, for evaluation. If seeking care off campus, be sure to inform that provider of the current mumps outbreak.  Do not wait until swelling of the salivary gland is present before seeking care, particularly if you have been told you are a contact to someone diagnosed with mumps.  

4.   Stay home if you are sick. Anyone suspected of having mumps is expected to stay home from school, work or similar activities for five days after onset of parotitis (swelling of the salivary glands). This means don't attend class or labs, go to work, or socialize with others during this five-day period and don't use public transportation. Mouth and nose should be covered during any sneezing or coughing, and hands should be washed frequently.  

For more information or questions, contact the UHCS, (262) 472-1300 or the Walworth County Health Department at 262-741-3140.

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