BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The number of students infected with mumps at LSU has risen to 12.
School officials made the announcement on Feb. 12.
It is recommended that any LSU student/faculty/staff who has not received two doses of MMR get the vaccine as soon as possible. In addition, if you have come into direct contact with someone currently diagnosed with mumps, it is recommended that you receive a third MMR vaccine.
The LSU Student Health Center will be providing the MMR vaccine to students free of charge at the Student Health Center. Those in the above high-risk groups can receive their vaccine at the Student Health Center all this week, now through Friday, from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The Student Health Center Injection Clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m., and Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. You can also obtain the vaccine at your primary care provider’s office.
If you have questions about obtaining the vaccine, call the Student Health Center Injection Clinic at 225-578-5631.
Faculty and staff with signs or symptoms of possible mumps should contact their private healthcare provider for a clinical evaluation as soon as possible.
Five cases were initially reported Feb. 4.
All but one of the 11 cases involves students who live off-campus, LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said Monday. Ballard said the one student who lives on campus is being isolated from other students. The university did not disclose which residential facility that particular student lives in. However, LSU says that student lives alone and will be quarantined in his or her apartment for two weeks.
Dr. Nelson Perret, medical director for the LSU Student Health Center, says they are still testing for cases.
“A little bit over a week ago we got our first case that came in. It was pretty classic mumps and since then we’ve had ten more cases,” Perret said.
LSU released the following information about the outbreak:
Because mumps is a contagious disease, the university is providing the information listed below for your health and safety.
Students with swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears or jaw on one or both sides of the face should seek care at the Student Health Center or with their primary care provider as soon as possible. The Student Health Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Students with signs of mumps must be isolated for at least five days from the onset of salivary gland swelling. There is no specific treatment for mumps or exposure to mumps. Most people with mumps recover fully. However, mumps can occasionally cause complications, and some of them are serious.
WAFB’s Scottie Hunter asked Perret how effective the quarantines are in fighting the outbreak.
“The quarantine is reasonably effective if you can isolate the student away from other students,” said Perret. “The isolation really only needs to last about five days.”
Mumps is spread by contact with infectious respiratory tract secretions and saliva.
Measures to help prevent viral transmission:
- Good handwashing
- Not drinking or eating after others
- Covering one’s nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
Receiving two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine in one’s lifetime is the best way to prevent mumps. Proof of immunity to mumps or proof of two doses of MMR vaccine is currently required for all students at LSU. Most students on campus should be protected. However, the vaccine is not 100% effective, and mumps infection may occur even in fully vaccinated students.