Mumps confirmed for 2 UWM students

As of today, May 8th, there are 2 confirmed cases and 1 suspected case of mumps that have been identified in University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee students. Norris Health Center is working closely with the City of Milwaukee Health Department to initiate the appropriate follow-up investigation with close contacts of cases. Across the state there have been over 20 cases reported in 2014.

Norris Health Center is encouraging all community members to take the following steps to stay healthy and prevent spreading the illness.

Check your immunization records. 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 (measles, mumps, rubella) 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 to need vaccination.

Faculty and staff who have not been vaccinated should visit their private health care provider or pharmacy. Students can get vaccinated at no cost at Norris Health Center and should call 414-229-4716 to make an appointment.

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

Watch for symptoms even if you have been vaccinated. Faculty and staff should contact their private health care provider if you experience them. 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. Students who experience symptoms should call Norris Health Center, 414-229-4716, to make an appointment.

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 don’t attend class or labs, go to work, or socialize with others during this five-day period and don’t use public transportation. Mouth and nose should be covered during any sneezing or coughing and hands should be washed 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.

Additional information on mumps is available from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services:

Information as is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

For more information or questions, contact Norris Health Center at 414-229-4716.