The Eastern Illinois University Health Service confirmed today that a university student has been diagnosed with mumps, but the probability of additional outbreaks is extremely low.
The student, who lives off campus, is no longer considered contagious, and all potentially susceptible individuals have been notified. No students or employees of the university are considered susceptible at this time.
Health Service and university authorities are working collaboratively with the Coles County Health Department, as is required by the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.
Confirmation of the diagnosis came during finals week at Eastern, when most students are leaving or have already left campus for the holiday break. Classes resume Jan. 8.
All EIU students taking six or more credit hours on campus must have shown proof of two doses of MMR (a combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccine) prior to enrollment.
Mumps is a viral infection characterized by fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, followed by swelling of the salivary glands near the ears or around the jaw line. Severe complications are rare. However, mumps can cause other problems such as hearing loss or inflammation of the brain, testicles or ovaries.
Mumps is spread by respiratory droplets, saliva or contaminated surfaces.
Symptoms can appear 12 to 25 days after exposure to an infected person. However, a person with mumps can spread the disease as early as seven days before the start of symptoms until nine days after onset.
There is no specific treatment for mumps, although seeing a medical provider is advised so that testing for the virus can be performed and, if appropriate, isolation can be recommended. Symptoms tend to decrease after one week, and usually resolve after 10 days.
Although mumps vaccine is the best way to prevent the disease, individuals also should wash hands well and often with soap. Eating utensils should not be shared, and surfaces frequently touched (doorknobs, tables, counters, etc.) should also be regularly cleaned with soap and water or with cleaning wipes.
Additional information can be found at http://www.eiu.edu/health/clinic/info/mumps.php.