Published On: Sat, Apr 5th, 2014

Mumps on college campuses: Ohio State and UW-Madison

Another university campus is now reporting mumps among it’s student population. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has confirmed that three UW-Madison students have recently been diagnosed with mumps.

Mumps virus/CDC

Mumps virus/CDC

The cases don’t appear to be connected and University Health Services is working with public health officials to monitor the situation.

“Like the flu, most healthy people with mumps recover completely after a week or two,” says UHS epidemiologist Craig Roberts. “But it’s still a contagious and uncomfortable illness that may cause serious complications in some people.”

This follows the much larger mumps outbreak at the Ohio State University where according to Columbus Public Health, 150 mumps cases have been reported in Franklin and Delaware counties. To date, 99 cases have been linked to The Ohio State University outbreak.

Mumps is a viral illness spread from person to person through the air or by direct contact with saliva or infected droplets. Early symptoms usually begin 16 to 18 days after infection and are similar to those of the flu: fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Swelling of the cheek and jaw area (salivary glands) usually follows and is a classic symptom of mumps.

These recent cases serve as a good reminder to students, faculty, and staff to ensure that they’ve been fully immunized with two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) and to take simple preventive steps such as washing hands regularly and staying home if they’re sick.

“Getting fully vaccinated is the most effective way to prevent mumps,” says Roberts. “Previously immunized persons could still become infected, but they will likely have a much less severe illness than unvaccinated people with mumps.”

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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