Mumps make it to Murray

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Story by Sabra Jackson, Staff writer


Murray State sent an email April 24 confirming a case of the mumps on campus.

There have been several universities with cases reported in Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mumps is a contagious disease spread by air droplets formed when people carrying the disease cough or sneeze. It can also spread by eating after or kissing someone with the disease. The Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine is typically administered at an early age, once at 12 months and a booster shot at the age of 4, but that does not always work. Adults who have had mumps in the past are protected for life from getting the disease again, however second occurrences have happened.

Laura Vincent, registered nurse at Calloway County Public Health Department, said this is the first case in Calloway County the department is aware of.

“Anytime there is a case of mumps, it is made public knowledge,” Vincent said.

Vincent said because of the outbreak on college campuses last year, Calloway County was on alert, but there were no cases to report.

Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and swollen and tender salivary glands located under the ears on one or both sides and around the jaw bone. Symptoms typically show 12-15 days after exposure to an infected person.

After puberty, mumps has been known to cause inflammation and soreness of the breasts in women or the testicles in men.

If you have any of the symptoms, the office of Student Affairs encourages you to see your health care provider or a local health department for recommended testing for mumps. They also suggest not attending class and work after showing symptoms for up to five days.  

After treatment, doctors encourage lots of rest and drinking fluids as well as taking all prescribed medications as directed.

If you show any of the symptoms, you should stay away from other people five days after your salivary glands begin to swell.

You can help prevent mumps by receiving two doses of the MMR vaccine, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands frequently, avoiding sharing personal items or cleaning and disinfecting items that come into contact with secretions from the nose or mouth.