Posted: Oct 22, 2010 3:30 PM by Letitia Walker DHH & UL Lafayette
Updated: Oct 22, 2010 3:35 PM
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has been notified of a confirmed case of mumps on campus. Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by the mumps virus. In adults, it can have serious complications.
University officials said Friday that a UL Lafayette student is at home recovering from mumps.
The Louisiana Department of Hospitals Office of Public Health is now providing guidance and working closely with ULL.
OPH and ULL have been identifying people who may have come in contact with the infected person to ensure they have a record of two measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines. Those who have not been vaccinated are being directed to the Lafayette Parish Health Unit for vaccination. OPH has alerted Lafayette area emergency rooms, walk-in clinics and primary care physicians as well about the situation so they are aware of the situation. ULL is alerting students, faculty and staff through their communications system.
Mumps starts just like most other viral diseases, with
fever , headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. The classic sign of mumps -- swollen salivary glands that make a person look like a chipmunk -- don't appear right away. About half of people infected with the mumps virus don't get noticeable symptoms.
"If your glands are swollen or if you've been exposed to someone who's had mumps and you're feeling sick, you should call your healthcare provider," said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, Louisiana State Health Officer. "Mumps can be a nasty virus infection that lasts seven to 10 days. The MMR vaccine dramatically reduces the incidence of the disease. It doesn't completely eliminate the risk, but it's still the best way to protect yourself against mumps infection."
When mumps symptoms do appear, they usually come 16 to 18 days after infection. Because infection can precede symptoms by up to 25 days, outbreaks are difficult to control. However routine vaccinations which began in the 1960's have made mumps a very rare disease. Since 2008 DHH has reported only 13 mumps cases in Louisiana.
ULL students, faculty and staff are encouraged to check their immunization records to be certain that they have received two doses of the MMR vaccine. Those who are not sure whether they have been vaccinated against mumps should speak with their physician or their local public health office. The MMR vaccination can be obtained at local health units or from health care providers.
There is no specific treatment for mumps, which is why vaccination is strongly recommended. Complications of mumps are more common in people who already have reached
puberty . Orchitis, a complication, can lead to sterility, but much more rarely than once was believed. Other complications include inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and / or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), inflammation of the ovaries and/or breasts and temporary or permanent deafness.