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A Message from the Center for Health and Wellness
Spring is finally here, which means we’re approaching the end of flu season. But just because temperatures are rising doesn’t mean you can let your guard down against communicable diseases.
In recent weeks, public health officials in Franklin County have seen an increase in confirmed mumps cases. So we’re partnering with public health officials to take preventative measures to stop the spread of infection by encouraging you to educate yourself about the disease, signs and symptoms, how you can limit your risk of infection, and what to do if you get sick. Please read through the information below, which is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by the mumps virus. Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.
Mumps typically starts with a few days of:
Symptoms usually occur 14 to 18 days after infection. The time between infection and illness can be as short as 12 days or as long as 25 days.
Most people recover fully from mumps, but complications can develop, and some of them can be serious. Complications may occur even if you don’t have swollen salivary glands, and are more common in people who have reached puberty. So if you think you may have mumps, it's important to contact the Center for Health and Wellness at 614-236-6114 or your health care provider.
Mumps spreads from person to person, usually when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks while in contact with others, who then breathe in the virus. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, and common surfaces like doorknobs and counter, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared, or if someone touches the contaminated surface and rubs their mouth or nose. People with mumps are usually contagious from two days before to five days after they develop symptoms. A person is most contagious just before symptoms appear.
The best way to protect yourself from getting sick is immunization. The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine should be routinely given when children are 12-15 months old, and a second dose should be given when they are 4-6 years old. Two doses of the vaccine are more effective against mumps than one dose and prevent most, but not all, cases of mumps and mumps complications.
If you haven’t been immunized against mumps talk to your health care provider about getting immunized. If you don’t know whether you’ve been immunized, or how many doses you’ve been given, check with your health care provider. Also, wash your hands properly and often, and don’t share personal items.
If you develop symptoms of mumps, please stay home from work, school, sports and all public gatherings for five days after symptoms start. Seek medical care to be properly diagnosed. You can schedule an appointment with the Center for Health and Wellness. Faculty and staff with mumps symptoms should contact their private health care providers.
If you are exposed to mumps and have been vaccinated, you are less likely to develop the disease. But you should get a second dose or begin the vaccine series to lessen the severity of illness or decrease the spread to others. People with mumps are usually contagious from two days before to five days after they develop symptoms. If you have mumps:
Your health is very important to us. If you have any questions about mumps or any other health matter, please call us. We’re here to help.
Dr. Cathy McDaniels-Wilson, ABPP Director of University Counseling and Health Services Capital University Center for Health and Wellness