A recent outbreak of mumps has now spread beyond the university campus where it began, according to the New York Daily News. Ohio State University first reported cases of mumps on February 11, 2014.
As of Monday, March 24th, 63 cases of mumps have now been reported in Franklin County Ohio, home of Ohio State, and only 45 are linked to the university. Meanwhile, according to the New York Post, Fordham University in New York has also reported 13 recent cases of mumps on two of its campuses.
These stories demonstrate why the MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) 2-shot -vaccination series is required by the majority of hospitals who use the ReptraxTM vendor credentialing system. Mumps is a highly infectious disease that spreads the same way as a cold or flu—through respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes. Contributing to the spread of the disease is the fact that one third of the individuals with mumps are asymptomatic. They can actually be infectious and not even know it.
Mumps usually begins with fever, headache and fatigue followed by swelling of salivary glands. Although not normally fatal, mumps can cause serious complications and often requires a minimum of 5 days of isolation away from work or school.
Public health spokesman Jose Rodriguez spoke to Central Ohio radio station WCBE and recommended mumps vaccinations. “If you were born prior to 1958, you were likely exposed to the mumps so you may be protected,” explains Rodrigues, “but most folks really need the two-shots of MMR vaccine. And if you haven’t had your second shot, you really need to complete the series and get protected.”
Previous outbreaks in recent history occurred in 2006 when 6,584 cases, also associated with college students in Midwestern states living in dorms, were reported. Another outbreak occurred in New York and New Jersey in 2009 when an 11-year-old boy spread the disease at a summer camp he attended after a trip to then mumps-infected United Kingdom. A total of 1,521 cases resulted from those campers returning home and passing the disease on to their friends and families.

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