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Two mumps cases confirmed at Syracuse University

Photo: CDC / Allison M. Maiuri

Two cases of mumps have been confirmed among the Syracuse University student population, according to a letter sent to students by the university's Office of Health Services.

The Onondaga County Department of Health also confirmed the cases, which it said had been reported since the last week of August.

“It is important to remember that mumps is a vaccine preventable disease and because of high vaccination rates, mumps is no longer very common in the United States," Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said. "While sporadic cases can still occur among vaccinated individuals and outbreaks have occurred on college campuses across New York State and the US, the best way to protect against mumps is to get the measles-mumps-rubella shot (MMR shot).”

Common symptoms for mumps are fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears.

The university says in the letter it's working closely with the Onondaga County Health Department to monitor the situation.

You can see the full text of the letter below:

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

The safety and well-being of all members of the Syracuse University campus community is our top priority. Within the last few hours, we have confirmed two cases of the mumps among our student population.

It is critical that we have up-to-date vaccination records on all our students. To that end, we are currently reminding all students without vaccination records that they must submit them to Health Services or get a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot. Mumps is not common today because of the effectiveness of the vaccine, and people most at risk are those not vaccinated.

While the vaccine is effective, on occasion, people who have had the vaccine may still get the mumps. Knowing the symptoms and maintaining good health practices will not only help keep you healthy, but your fellow community members as well.

Some common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides.

In addition to ensuring you’re up to date on your vaccinations, some other tips for preventing the spread of illness include:

• Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or your arm when coughing or sneezing.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water.

• Avoid sharing cups, utensils, water bottles, etc.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like sinks, doorknobs and tables.

Mumps can be serious, but most people make a full recovery within a few weeks, and most symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter medication.

Health Services is working closely with the Onondaga County Health Department to monitor the situation and has already been in contact with those affected. This is normal and considered best practice.

Anyone with questions or concerns may contact Health Services at 315.443.9005.

Sincerely,

Office of Health Services

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