Mumps Outbreak at Ohio State a Threat Despite Vaccinations


A mumps outbreak is causing concern at Ohio State University.  Twenty-one cases had been reported since March 14, with 17 of those infected being Ohio State students. Mumps is a viral infection of the salivary glands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. It can spread through coughing, sneezing, or contact with saliva or mucus.

Mumps Symptoms

Those affected by mumps might have swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears or jaw on the side of the face, fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and inflammation of the testicles in men, according to the CDC. The website also says there is no specific treatment for mumps, but it is usually gone in a week or two.

Previously Vaccinated Students Coming Down with Mumps

Officials said notices have been issued to health departments across the country because many potential carriers left Columbus for spring break. They also said those who have received two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine still have a 10 to 20 percent chance of being infected. Officials called the group of cases in the outbreak “highly vaccinated,” meaning most of the people had their vaccinations.

OSU students are not required to get an MMR vaccination unless it is a specific requirement for their program, as is the case for some medical programs, according to the Student Health Services website. Students interested in a vaccination are able to receive one through health services after a screening.

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