Mumps Outbreak At Temple University Leaves At Least 16 Infected

Vials of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine are displayed on a counter.
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Following a dangerous measles outbreak in the state of Washington — with dozens of confirmed cases — Temple University in Philadelphia is reporting that at least 16 people on the college campus have come down with a case of the mumps.

Although also a dangerous illness, there is no cure for the mumps. It’s a virus, and those suffering with it will just have to ride it out. Those suffering with a severe case will experience extreme fatigue, a high fever, and swollen glands.

According to NBC News, health officials in the Pennsylvania city have stated that although this incident be exacerbated by unvaccinated individuals, it’s not unlikely that many of those suffering with the infectious disease may well have been vaccinated as children. The mumps vaccination tends to fade in effectiveness over time.

The latest outbreak is the highest number of mumps sufferers in Philadelphia since 2011, and is double that of 2017.

Unfortunately, it also appears as though the disease may have spread beyond the university. There are two as yet unconfirmed cases in neighboring Montgomery county as well — one which is suspected to be the result of an infected student who went home. Although unspecified, the second case is also believed to be connected to the university.

Those who have come into contact with the infected students have been warned by public health officials to look out for symptoms, and to avoid contact with others should they start to fall ill. The disease is commonly passed from an infected person to a healthy person through either saliva or respiratory secretions, according to ABC 6 News.

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It’s not uncommon for the disease to arise and spread in areas like college campuses and schools, given the close day to day proximity of the people who work and learn there.

The mumps vaccine is given in conjunction with the measles and rubella vaccines in one single shot called the MMR vaccine. Unfortunately, because the mumps vaccine fades over time, adults can become vulnerable to the disease — one which is dangerous to contract during adulthood. Those who were never vaccinated, of course, are at much greater risk of contracting it than those who were given their shots.

According to the CDC, mumps cases had dropped by 99 percent over the past few decades, as vaccines became commonplace. There has been a resurgence of the disease in recent years, as more and more people have declined to be vaccinated.