Although it is unconfirmed, a second Drexel University student has been reported as having a case of the mumps, Vice President and Dean of Student Life Dr. Subir Sahu wrote in an email sent to Drexel students and faculty April 1.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mumps is a highly contagious viral disease that typically begins with symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue and loss of appetite. As the disease progresses, symptoms include swollen cheeks and jaw caused by inflammation of the salivary glands.
The CDC says symptoms of mumps typically appear anywhere from 16 to 18 days after the individual is initially infected. Further, most people who catch the disease fully recover within two weeks.
Mumps is an extremely contagious disease and spreads through direct contact with saliva or droplets from the mouth, nose or throat, according to the CDC. However, there are simple steps that can be taken to prevent the spread of mumps.
“Its spread can be minimized by individuals washing their hands frequently and refraining from sharing such items as cups or eating utensils,” Sahu said. “The most effective way to protect oneself against mumps going forward is to get two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine, which is required for all Drexel students.”
Drexel’s two cases of the mumps come after a recent outbreak of the disease at Temple University where over 100 students were affected.
“At present, 18 Temple students have tested positive for mumps and 98 are listed as probable,” Mark Denys, director of Student and Employee Health Services at Temple, wrote in a statement April 1.
Preventing a similar outbreak on Drexel’s campus is possible by students making conscious decisions.
“Students who believe they may have been exposed or are having mumps-like symptoms should report to the Student Health Center for further evaluation,” Sahu said.
“If students are seen outside of Drexel, and were told they may have mumps, they should call 215-220-4700 to report. Students suspected of infection should self-isolate and limit contact with others.”