Five Cases of the Mumps Confirmed at Louisiana State University, Officials Say

Multiple large-scale studies have found that vaccines are safe. There is no scientific link between vaccines and autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

At least five students at Louisiana State University have contracted the mumps virus, officials reported Tuesday.

According to CBS-affiliate WAFB, the affected students live off-campus, the LSU Student Health Center and the Louisiana Department of Health told the outlet.

The Reville, LSU’s student newspaper, shared that the Student Health Center is recommending that students should wash their hands well, cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and not to share eating utensils, cups, drinking glasses or water bottles.

Students experiencing swollen and tender glands should report to the Student Health Center or a primary care provider, and those with signs of mumps should stay home in isolation for at least five days.

The best way to prevent the virus is to receive two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine in one’s lifetime — both of which are required before attending LSU, according to the newspaper.

While the vaccine protects most people from the virus, it is not 100 percent effective. Should students come in contact with someone with mumps, a third MMR vaccine is recommended.

MMR vaccines will be given to students free of charge at the Student Health Center, according to the health center’s website.

Representatives from Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Department of Health did not immediately reply to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, mumps is “a viral infection that primarily affects saliva-producing (salivary) glands that are located near your ears.” Signs and symptoms of the virus typically develop between two to three weeks after exposure.

In addition to painful gland swelling, mumps can also cause fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. However, in rare cases, the contagious disease has been known to cause brain and spinal cord damage as well as death, according to the CDC.

The virus is transmitted through saliva or mucus, and can be spread by sharing cups and utensils, or participating in close-contact activities, like sports or kissing, the CDC says. Last year, 48 states and Washington, D.C. reported mumps infections in 3,474 people to the CDC.

 


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