Mumps at Temple: How to Avoid the Outbreak
With spring and summer fast approaching, germs are coming along as well. Up to March 20th, there are 55 probable mump cases and 12 confirmed cases at Temple University main campus. There was a rumor spread among students that the main campus was considering a temporary closure. Temple spokesman Christopher Vito put these rumors to rest and stated "no conversations regarding university closure have taken place."
Before there was a vaccine, mumps was a common disease in America. Years after years, the number of mumps cases have increased from hundreds to thousands. Initial symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite--which are non-specific and flu-like. A signature symptom is the puffy cheeks. There is no treatment for the virus, only relief of symptoms.
Tip #1: Get Vaccines
If you have not gotten MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella vaccine), which is the most commonly used form of the vaccine, you need to go get one as soon as possible. OR if you got the vaccine more than ten years ago, you need to go get another one. MMR vaccine prevents most, but not all cases of mumps. People who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine are about nine times less likely to get mumps than unvaccinated people who have the same exposure to mumps virus, however, they are still possible to get mumps. Even if the get the mumps, they will likely have less severe illness than an unvaccinated person. The vaccine's can be not effective over time, however, meaning a booster shot may be necessary to keep up the body's defenses against the virus.
Tip #2: Develop good personal hygiene habit
Some basic tips for preventing mumps are to wash your hands and not to drink after others. Based on my personal experience, athletes often share cups for fluids during games and practices. So remember, all it takes is to walk a little bit to a drinking fountain to get water rather than risk getting sick by sharing drinks with friends and teammates.
Tip #3: From Temple Health Center’s health update
The following precautions against mumps and flu are advised:
Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; use your upper sleeve to cover your cough, not your hand. Wash hands frequently and efficiently. When unable to wash with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid sharing food and drinks or participating in other activities that may result in saliva exposure. Stay home from school or work when you are sick to rest and limit the spread of illness to others.
Hope everyone stays warm and away from the mumps!
This blog post was written by Cindy Chen, TSG Representative.