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Penn State Reports Three Potential Cases Of Mumps On Campus

Halloween may be over, but that hasn’t stopped Penn State from releasing some scary facts.

Penn State, with the help of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, has reported three potential cases of the mumps on campus. While the three students don’t live in the residence halls, the disease is spread via saliva and respiratory secretions — anything from sharing food or drink to touching a contaminated surface (say a treadmill at the gym) and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Symptoms of mumps include tender swollen glands below the ear or along the jawline, headache, fever, and cold-like symptoms, and those who contract the virus are infectious for two days before the swelling begins through five days after the start of the swelling. People are commonly administered two doses of the mumps vaccine before their first birthday, though this is not always the case for a number of reasons.

Penn State is asking that all students, faculty, and staff members check with their health care provider to assure that they are sufficiently vaccinated with two doses of the MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) vaccine, and that a proof of this vaccination be faxed to University Health Services (814-865-6982).

Those who have not received two doses of MMR are asked to schedule an appointment with their health care provider or UHS to receive the vaccination. In fact, anyone who doesn’t have proof of vaccination may be restricted from campus for 21 days after the last possible date of infection, and they will not be able to return unless they are vaccinated.

UHS advises that students to take precautions and avoid sharing food and drinks, participating in drinking games, and other activities that involve salivary exposure, and recommend heightened hand hygiene and “respiratory etiquette” (please cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough basically…although, please do this even if there isn’t a mumps outbreak).

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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