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UL Lafayette offers vaccines after student diagnosed with mumps

Posted at 5:06 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 18:42:49-05

LAFAYETTE — UL is taking precautions on campus after a student was recently diagnosed with the mumps. The Office of Student Health Services is offering the MMR vaccine, which officials say is the best way to prevent the mumps.

"I think that's wonderful, because they're being proactive," UL student Jalen Gallapsy said.

Health officials say the vaccination is not 100% effective, but it is the best precaution.

"Mumps can lead to deafness, meningitis, and encephalitis. So it's really important people understand these deceases are serious and vaccines are there to protect us," explained Dr. Tina Stefanski, Regional Medical Director for Office of Public Health in Acadiana.

"As an adult, I would rather have the shot, than have had the mumps," said UL employee Don Smith.

Smith was 7 years old when he was diagnosed with the mumps.

"I had fever, a high fever. The bottom of my jaw swelled up," Smith explained.

When Smith heard the news there was a confirmed case on campus, he hoped it would be the last.

"I was just hoping a good number of our students have the vaccination because if they get it, they will not be feeling well," Smith said.

State law requires students have two doses of MMR prior to starting school, but can be exempt for several reasons, including personal preference.

"If someone has a child that isn't fully vaccinated, now is the time to really rethink that. It is a safe vaccine," Stefanski added.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, headaches, and a swollen jaw.

Twelve students at LSU have recently been diagnosed with mumps, including one who was quarantined.

UL’s Office of Student Health Services will continue to have the MMR vaccine as needed. Students are required to make an appointment for the vaccine by calling Student Health Services at 337-482-1382.