SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Five students at the University of San Diego (USD) have contracted mumps in the past few days, as reported on Monday by the Union-Tribune newspaper. Health officials are offering two vaccination clinics on campus this week to prevent more cases.
On Tuesday, the USD offered free immunizations to staff, faculty and students to help fight the mumps outbreak. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an outbreak occurs when three or more cases share a common link.
No treatment for mumps has been developed so far, but in most cases the signs clear up after a couple of days. The symptoms include jaw pain, headache, fever, earache and inflammation of the salivary glands.
The highly-contagious virus can spread through sneezing, coughing, kissing or close contact with an infected person. San Diego County Health and Human Services officials said on Monday that three out of the five infected USD undergraduates had the mumps after coming in contact with the student who was first diagnosed last month.
No real sense of security
The Union-Tribune newspaper reported that four out of the five infected students had been vaccinated with the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine (known as MMR), which doctors advice at age 12 to 15 months and subsequently booster shot usually follow it up. Still, they contracted the disease.
The university’s health director, Pam Sikes, said that all but one of the infected students had received two doses of the MMR vaccine, which is required for admission into public schools.
The CDC says that Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccines provide an 88-percent effectiveness over the human lifespan, as reported by NBC News. But Sikes said when it has been more than 15 years since the vaccines have been received, a third dose is absolutely necessary when people find themselves surrounded by an outbreak.
“There can be a false sense of security,” Sikes commented. “What we do know, through the cycle and spread that this is going to continue to spread unless we do something different.”
Health officials strongly recommend students and faculty get vaccinated even if they have already received the immunizations needed for admission.
USD students and staff can feel free to call (619) 260-4595 to ask for more information.
Source: NBC News