Diseases that we thought were a thing of the past are returning. Reports indicate that mumps are now in Middle Tennessee.
Belmont University announced that a second student has been diagnosed with mumps.
By swiftly removing the student from campus and issuing a public statement, Belmont is working hard to stop this highly-contagious disease in its tracts.
Temple University in Philadelphia has reported dozens of recent on-campus cases that have spread from students to staff and are of concern to the surrounding community.
Studies show that mumps is making a comeback among, especially on college campuses. A new study shows that protection from mumps fades with time. Researchers believe that a booster vaccine given around age 18 could solve the current problem.
Since Middle Tennessee State University is here, is Murfreesboro at risk?
Letting Temple serve as a cautionary tale, Ascension Saint Thomas is committed to educating Middle Tennessee on the risk and advising on best practices for prevention.
- The CDC reports that there were at least 275 cases of mumps across the US in the month of March, a dramatic uptick from the 151 reported cases in January and February combined. People who lives in communal spaces like dormitories or assisted living facilities are at a higher-than-average risk for exposure.
- The MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, is 88 percent effective when administered in 2 separate doses. The CDC has observed a 99% reduction in mumps cases nationally since 1967, when the United States launched its MMR vaccination program.
- Spread through saliva and nasal secretions, mumps is a viral infection of the salivary glands. Symptoms include coughing, lethargy, fever, headache and swelling of the neck, as well as skin rashes and body aches. Infected individuals sometime describe their symptoms as "flu-like."
- Booster shots are sometimes recommended for those who have been previously vaccinated. Best practices for avoiding infection include: covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing; washing your hands with soap and hot water; and refraining from sharing eating utensils.