Health department working with Penn State on mumps cases

Author

25 February, 2017

The health department recommends that UA students, faculty and staff immediately receive a second measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccination if they already have not received two doses.

What is it important to prevent mumps?

"It's always concerning to see outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases because we have the tools to prevent them", said Ian Culbert, executive director of the Canadian Public Health Association. Other symptoms include headache, fever, tiredness, aching and loss of appetite.

A mumps outbreak in Toronto linked to west-end bars has spread to three more people, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 17. Complications from mumps, although rare, can include inflammation of the testicles, ovaries, breasts and/or brain.

Federal officials said Thursday that they are looking into whether mumps immunity decreases over time and whether there would be benefits to a third dose. Forty per cent of the patients had two or more doses of the vaccine.

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The viral infections are both covered by the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccines.

Students who have not already done so are advised to request a copy of their immunization information from their private health care provider to be faxed to University Health Services at 814-865-9309.

The university is working with the Monroe County Health Department and Indiana State Department of Health to identify and notify anyone who may have been in close contact with the students. Those with no record of MMR that decline to be vaccinated should not attend class for 25 days after exposure to mumps.

Naus recommended self-isolation of the infected individuals for nine days, in particular for the first five days.

Dr. Sarah Wilson, a medical epidemiologist with Public Health Ontario, said individuals in the age range now more susceptible to mumps may also be more at risk due to their behaviour traits. Professionals have been in contact with those closely associated with the infected individuals and continue to monitor each situation carefully.


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