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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Mumps outbreak hits University of Idaho

A mumps outbreak at the University of Idaho has prompted the state Department of Health & Welfare to advise students to use their winter breaks to make sure they're caught up on vaccinations, including the MMR vaccine, which is for measles, mumps and rubella. More than 30 cases of mumps are being investigated at the Moscow campus, including 10 that already have been lab-confirmed. Click below for the full announcement from the state Department of Health & Welfare.



NEWS RELEASE--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             DATE: Nov. 21, 2014




Mumps Outbreak Involving University of Idaho Students Prompts Public Health 
Officials to Urge Students to Check Vaccination Records and Get Vaccinated

An outbreak of mumps involving University of Idaho Moscow students is leading public health officials to urge students to use the upcoming holiday break to check their vaccination records to make certain they are current for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination before they return for classes. As of Wednesday, November 19, 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of mumps have been reported, with over 20 additional reports being investigated, including two in the Moscow community.

The MMR vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps. Students who have not previously had mumps or who have no record of any doses of MMR vaccine should receive two doses at least 28 days apart; students who received only one dose of MMR vaccine should receive a second dose. Students can check with the University of Idaho Student Health Services, their primary care provider, local public health office or a local pharmacy about receiving an MMR vaccine.

Mumps is a contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes, or talks. An infected person can spread the virus before being sick. The virus is also spread when someone with mumps touches items or surfaces without washing their hands, and then someone else touches the same item or surface and rubs their mouth or nose.

Symptoms, which can appear up to 25 days after being exposed, may include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen or tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides of the head. The most common complication of mumps infection in adults is testicular inflammation. Rare complications include meningitis, encephalitis, inflammation of the ovaries, and deafness. Anyone experiencing symptoms compatible with mumps should contact their health care professional. Up to half of people with mumps have very mild or no symptoms and might not know they are infected.

Anyone infected with the mumps virus should stay home for five days after symptoms begin, while minimizing close contact with other people. Infected people should avoid sharing drinks or eating utensils, cover all coughs and sneezes, wash their hands frequently with soap and water, and regularly clean frequently-touched surfaces.

To find more information about mumps and the mumps vaccine, please visit or contact your local public health office.



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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