Kat Riddler, Managing Editor
A campus-wide email was sent out on behalf of the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Student Health Officer Christopher Sullivan warning that mumps had been confirmed on campus on September 13.
Sullivan said that there was a possibility that people on campus have already been exposed to the infection on campus as they have one confirmed case and two suspected cases. Sullivan explained the symptoms, “Mumps is a virus that causes painful swelling of one or more salivary glands, a low-grade fever, tiredness, muscle aches and/or headaches. Typically, persons with mumps have swelling of the gland located in the cheek area near the ear and at the back angle of the jaw.” Some people may also not show any symptoms.
Sullivan further explained, “Mumps is spread by coughing and sneezing or direct contact with the saliva of an infected person. Symptoms usually develop 16 to 18 days after exposure, but may develop from 12 to 25 days after exposure. Persons with mumps must stay home and away from others for five days after the onset of salivary gland(s) swelling.”
Vaccines are usually administered to children at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4 to 6 years old. The vaccine is usually called the mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine (MMR). As with other vaccines, pregnant women or people that are immunocompromised should not received the MMR vaccine. If unsure on your vaccine status, the email suggested contacting your healthcare provider.
Sullivan explained, “While vaccination against mumps is the best protection, vaccinated individuals may still become infected. Anyone diagnosed with mumps or suspected of having mumps should stay home for five days after the onset of symptoms.”
The email urged UMSL students, faculty, and staff to contact Health Services at 314-516-5671 or their healthcare provider if they experience mumps symptoms or if they have any questions. A pdf informational sheet from the St. Louis County Public Health Fact Sheet was provided Fact Sheet.