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Two cases of mumps reported at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

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WALWORTH COUNTY — There are two confirmed cases of mumps that have been identified in University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students.

University Health and Counseling Service (UHCS) is working closely with the Walworth County Health Department to initiate the appropriate follow-up investigation with close contacts of cases.

UHCS and the health department encourage all community members to take the following steps to stay healthy and prevent spreading the illness:

1. Check your immunization records to make sure you’ve had two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Immunization with two doses of MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective way to prevent up to 95% of mumps infections for young adults. Individuals born before 1957 are likely to have had mumps disease as a child and are not generally considered in need of vaccination.

To find your immunization record, check the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR) at https://www.dhsWIR.org or call your health care provider.
Faculty and staff who have not been vaccinated or are not sure if they are immune should contact their private health care provider or pharmacy.
Students can obtain the vaccine at a no-cost walk-in clinic at UHCS (Ambrose Health Center) from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, or at the Walworth County Health Department on Highway NN in Elkhorn (Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.). Call UHCS at 262-472-1300 or the WCHD at 262-741-3140 for more information.

2. Follow these preventive actions. Mumps is spread from an infected person through coughing, sneezing, or talking or through contact with saliva. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, sneeze and cough into a tissue or your elbow, and avoid sharing drinks, food and utensils.

3. Watch for symptoms even if you have been vaccinated. Early symptoms usually begin 16 to 18 days after exposure 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. Sometimes mumps can cause tenderness or swelling of the testicles. In some cases, mumps infection can result in complications that can be severe and result in hospitalization. Faculty and staff with symptoms should contact their private health care provider. Students with symptoms should call UHCS at 262-472-1300 to make an appointment to be evaluated.

4. Stay home if you are sick. Anyone suspected of having mumps is expected to stay home from school, work, or similar activities for five days. This means do NOT attend class, lab, work, or socialize with others during this five-day period. Do NOT use public transportation. Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. Wash hands frequently. There is no treatment for mumps, but you can soothe your symptoms by getting plenty of bed rest, taking over-the-counter pain killers such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol to relieve any pain, and drinking plenty of fluids.

For more information or questions, contact UHCS at 262-472-1300 or Walworth County Health Department at 262-741-3140.

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