2016 Mumps Outbreak Update

News Story: April 27, 2016

This message is to inform you that March 22, 2016, several Sacred Heart University students were identified as having the mumps. These students have fully recovered. Since then The Wellness Center has been working with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Fairfield Health Department because mumps is a communicable viral illness. The University has implemented public health protocols to minimize transmission. Since then there have been 17 others being investigated and 8 have been confirmed cases.

The University is advising undergraduate students with possible mumps to seek care at the Wellness Center. Please call for an evaluation or with any concerns at 203-371-7838.

Mumps is a viral infection that is spread through infected respiratory droplets, like sneezing or coughing. Typical signs and symptoms of mumps are swelling of the face/cheek/jaw (parotitis), jaw pain, headache and/or low grade fever. The infection is usually mild, but can be painful and may have complications. If you would like to read more about the mumps, you can visit http://www.cdc.gov/mumps.

Students are required to have received two doses of mumps containing vaccine prior to attending classes, so most students on campus should be protected. Vaccination with 2 MMR vaccines provides 90% effectiveness for mumps, however even those who receive two doses of vaccine can become infected. If you are not vaccinated, you may want to discuss vaccination with your health care provider.

More Information:

Students with signs of mumps must be isolated for five days from the onset of salivary gland swelling. There is no specific treatment for mumps or exposure to mumps. Most people with mumps fully recover. The incubation period from exposure to onset of symptoms for mumps is typically 16-18 days (range 12-25 days).

Practice good hygiene: good hand washing, not sharing drinks, eating utensils, water bottles, cigarettes, lipstick, makeup, etc. Please cover with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of used tissues.

Graduate students, staff or faculty with signs or symptoms of possible mumps should visit their private health care provider or St Vincent’s Urgent Care for a clinical evaluation.

Thank you,

Wellness Center/ Health Services