A recent mumps outbreak at the Ohio State University has ballooned to 28 cases, according to public health officials. The spokesperson of the city health department made a statement on Tuesday that the number could increase with students coming back to school from spring break.
The official added that the infected individuals include eighteen students and one staff member. The report did not mention if the patients were unvaccinated, although both the university and the Ohio state law do not require the MMR immunization vaccine in order to be admitted to a college.
The outbreak was said to have started on February 11 and the last reported incident took place on March 12. Of the confirmed mumps cases, 11 are female and 12 are male, and their ages range from 18 to 48 years. One of the patients is related to a student, another is a staff member, and three infected individuals neither study nor work at Ohio State but have connections to the university community.
The spokesperson further said that health authorities are mapping cases to determine the cause of the outbreak. No one is currently hospitalized, although three people were reported to have been confined at a hospital for at least one day.
Public and university health officials advised Ohio State students and staff to take proper precautions to avoid catching the virus as they make their return to class on Monday.
Mumps is an infectious viral disease that can spread the same way as the cold and flu – through droplets of saliva that can be picked up or inhaled from surfaces and transmitted to the mouth or nose. Early signs of mumps include a headache, fever, fatigue, and some muscle pain. These symptoms progress into painful swelling of the parotid glands, which are apparent at the side of the patient’s face, giving him or her a hamster-like appearance.
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Image via OSU.edu