Mumps Outbreak Reported At University of Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Nine cases of the mumps have been reported at the University of Arkansas.

The Arkansas Department of Health sent out a report saying there could be other possible cases and they are being investigated.

A report from the ADH says students that have never received an MMR vaccine will need to be excluded from class and university activities for at least 26 days.

However, they can return to class immediately once they receive a dose of the MMR vaccine. They will need to obtain a second dose of MMR vaccine 29 days after the first dose.

The ADH report said health officials are working closely with U of A officials to stop the spread of mumps. They will be monitoring the situation closely, and if the outbreak continues to spread, further steps could be taken.

Zac Brown, with the University of Arkansas' Health Center, said the U of A sent out 407 emails to students because they did not have the proper vaccines or they were exempt from the vaccines.

Brown said 312 of those students only had the first dose of the MMR vaccine, and the remainder were exempt. He said the U of A has identified that a majority of the 312 students without the second dose are expected to receive that vaccine Monday (Nov.25).

The ADH released the following information over the concern:

The mumps is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. Coughing and sneezing can easily spread this disease infecting others. It can also be spread through shared drinking cups or vaping devices. There is no treatment for mumps, and it can cause long-term health problems.

The Arkansas Department of Health is asking that all children and adults get up-to-date with their MMR vaccine as it is the best way to protect against the mumps. While some people who get the mumps may not have symptoms, the symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, swollen glands under the ears or jaw. These symptoms usually last for about 7-10 days, but it can take a person up to 26 days to get sick after they have been infected. The ADH recommends to stay home for 5 days after swelling in the glands appear due to mumps still being present 5 days after the swelling disappears.

Below are the recommended doses of the MMR vaccine, according to the Arkansas Department of Health:

• Your children younger than 6 years of age need one dose of MMR vaccine at age 12 through 15 months and a second dose of MMR vaccine at age 4 through 6 years. If your child attends a preschool where there is a mumps case or if you live in a household with many people, your child
should receive their second dose of MMR vaccine right away, even if they are not yet 4 years old.
The second dose should be given a minimum of 28 days after the first dose.

• Your children age 7 through 18 years need two doses of MMR vaccine if they have not received it
already. The second dose should be given a minimum of 28 days after the first dose.

• If you are an adult born in 1957 or later and you have not had the MMR vaccine already, you need
at least one dose. If you live in a household with many people or if you travel internationally, you
need a second dose of MMR vaccine. The second dose should be given a minimum of 28 days after
the first dose.

• Adults born before 1957 are considered to be immune to mumps and do not need to get the MMR
vaccine.

The ADH said if symptoms are noticed, they recommend that you contact your doctor's office before going to a clinic since the doctor may not want you to sit in the clinic near others. They do not recommend going to work or public places in general.

For more information contact the Pat Walker Health Center at 479-575-4451

On Monday (Nov. 25), Razorback Athletics released the following statement about mumps on the UA campus:

“Consistent with a recommendation made by the Arkansas Department of Health for all University of Arkansas students and in conjunction with University efforts in response to diagnosed cases of Mumps on campus, Razorback Athletics is providing its student-athletes, coaches and staff access to an additional dose of MMR vaccine. While student-athletes may or may not have been personally exposed to those individuals with confirmed cases, their daily interaction with others on campus, including other student-athletes, poses the possibility such exposure could adversely impact their health and wellbeing. Razorback Athletics remains committed to maintaining the health, safety and wellbeing of all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members.”

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