Any UW-Madison student is eligible to use Survivor Services and our Women’s Health Clinic
Most people love a good comeback story–but not when it refers to a long dormant disease like the mumps. UHS has recently confirmed that three UW-Madison students have been diagnosed with mumps.
You may have only heard of the mumps as an illness you’re vaccinated for when you’re a toddler. These vaccinations have turned the mumps from a once common disease to a very rare one. However, outbreaks such as this recent one on the Ohio State campus have shown that the illness still has staying power.
Prevention is easy!
However, it’s easy to protect yourself from this uncomfortable illness.
- Ensure that you have been immunized-it’s the most effective way to prevent mumps. All college students should have received two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine after their first birthday. Students that have previously received two MMRs do not need a third shot.
Students who haven’t been fully immunized with two doses can get vaccinated at no cost at UHS or from their health care provider. Faculty/staff should visit their health care provider.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water will help prevent mumps and other infections.
- Minimize close contact with other people if you are sick.
What is mumps anyway?
Mumps is a viral illness that can cause fever, body aches, headaches, fatigue, swelling of the salivary glands or pain with chewing or swallowing. It is most commonly spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and a non-infected person inhales respiratory droplets that contain the virus.
Most people who have been given the mumps vaccine are usually protect for life against mumps infections. However, mumps can occur in previously immunized persons.
Up to half of people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and therefore do not know they were infected with mumps. People who show symptoms usually recover after a week or two.
Early symptoms usually begin 16 to 18 days after infection and are similar to those of the flu: fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Swelling of the cheek and jaw area (salivary glands) usually follows and is a classic symptom of mumps.
More serious complications, while rare, can occur. These can include inflammation of the testicles (orchitis), brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis/meningitis), ovaries (oophoritis), breasts (mastitis), and deafness.
There is no specific treatment available for mumps. Those who are diagnosed should stay home for five days after symptoms begin and stay away from others. Mouth and nose should be covered during any sneezing or coughing and hands should be washed frequently. Pain, discomfort and fever can be treated with ibuprofen or Tylenol. Drink plenty of fluids and eat when you’re able.
What if you experience symptoms?
- Students should call UHS at 608-265-5600 or use MyUHS to make an appointment. Faculty and staff should contact their private health care provider.
- Stay home from work, school, sports and all public gatherings for five days after symptoms start.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
If you have been diagnosed with mumps:
Anyone diagnosed with mumps is expected to stay home from school, work, or similar activities for five days.
- Don’t attend class or labs, go to work, or socialize with others during this five-day period
- Don’t use public transportation
Prevent spreading the virus by:
- Staying home
- Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Washing your hands regularly with soap and water
Soothe your symptoms by:
- Getting plenty of bed rest
- Taking over-the-counter pain killers such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol, to relieve any pain
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Apply a warm or cool compress to your swollen glands to help reduce pain
- Eat foods that don’t require a lot of chewing
Visit http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/health-topics/mumps/faq.pdf for more information.