Four more cases of mumps detected


Rebecca Rakowitz

University of Alabama students received an e-mail on Wednesday afternoon alerting them that Alabama Department of Public Health officials have recorded four new cases of mumps at the University since Feb. 24, 2017. The e-mail comes less than two weeks after students received a different notification that three students had been diagnosed with and recovered from mumps.

The e-mail encouraged students to take precautions and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mumps while on spring break. “We know students will gather with friends and others from around the world during the break, so they need to know what to watch for and how to avoid spreading mumps,” Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer with ADPH said in the e-mail. “And, as a matter of good health, students should make sure everyone in their family is properly vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine.”

The e-mail contained information on the mumps virus, how it is spread, common symptoms and what to do if symptoms arise. “The most common symptoms include low-grade fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and swollen or tender salivary glands below the ear,” the e-mail said.

Unlike the first e-mail, this one contained information regarding vaccinations and what to do if someone lacks vaccinations that significantly reduce the chances of mumps.

“Persons who received only one dose of MMR vaccine should immediately receive a second MMR from Student Health, their doctor’s office or county health department,” the e-mail said. “Persons who do not have any record of any MMR vaccine should immediately take the first dose of MMR, or should not attend classes for 25 days to avoid being exposed to the mumps virus. Tentatively, the 25-day exposure would end March 24.”

Compiled by Rebecca Rakowitz