Important information about the spread of mumps

Brian Brown
Published May 12, 2017

On May 11, a new case of mumps was confirmed in an Appalachian State University student, bringing the total number of mumps cases in Watauga County to four, and the total number of cases in Appalachian students to three. As you travel home or to other locations during the summer months, please exercise caution and be vigilant about caring for yourself and others.

The individual diagnosed with the virus is being treated, per guidelines established by the State of North Carolina and the Centers for Disease Control, and is fully cooperating in following isolation instructions.

 

While the number of cases may seem small, it is important to remember that mumps is a contagious disease for which there is no treatment, and it can cause long-term health problems. As you travel home or to other locations during the summer months, please exercise caution and be vigilant about caring for yourself and others.

 

Symptoms of mumps are similar to those of other illnesses, like cold and flu. The virus is spread through close contact, like kissing, drinking after someone else, coughing or sneezing. If you are not feeling well, do not engage in social activity, share drinks, towels, clothing or other items with anyone.

 

Appalachian officials have been working in close coordination with state and county health officials since the first case of mumps was identified as a possibility. They have interviewed ill students about their activities during their periods of contagion, identified and sought out anyone who has come into contact with the ill students, reviewed their immunization records, immunized them if necessary and made sure they are aware of the signs and symptoms of mumps.

 

We remain on heightened alert for anyone with signs and symptoms compatible with mumps.

 

This proactive approach has helped reduce the spread of mumps. We need your vigilance to continue to contain the disease.

 

Because of the recent increase in nationwide physician-reported mumps cases, AppHealthCare has recommended a heightened awareness of the possible need for mumps testing for patients who present with symptoms consistent with mumps. It is important, however, to remember that symptoms of mumps are similar to symptoms of other illnesses, like cold and flu.

 

Recent confirmed cases of mumps among Appalachian State University and Caldwell Community College students in Watauga County have generated questions about MMR immunization requirements for college students. The information below is being shared with the public to provide additional information about MMR immunization requirements and to assist in preventing the spread of mumps. Please review it carefully.

 

We wish you a healthy and safe summer.

 

Best wishes,

 

Beth Lovette

Health Director

AppHealthCare (Appalachian District Health Department)

 

Dr. Robert Ellison

Director of Student Health Services

Appalachian State University


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