Albany, NY - September 15, 2016 - The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has been notified of one laboratory-confirmed case of mumps at SUNY Oswego and another at SUNY Plattsburgh. The case at SUNY Oswego is believed to be associated with a recent mumps outbreak in the Long Beach area of Long Island. Since June, the Nassau County Department of Health has identified more than 45 cases of mumps related to this outbreak. The source of the SUNY Plattsburgh case is under investigation.
Both Universities have notified the campus communities, as well as students who are susceptible to mumps because they have not been vaccinated because they have religious or medical exemptions. These students have been told they will be excluded from campus for 26 days after the last possible exposure if they do not get vaccinated. This is common practice in these situations in order to prevent a large outbreak.
“We are warning colleges and universities in New York State and beyond that the outbreak of mumps in Long Beach could lead to other cases,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “SUNY Oswego and SUNY Plattsburgh both have high percentages of vaccinated students, and we appreciate their cooperation in doing everything they can to prevent the spread of mumps on their campuses. We urge students, faculty and staff members with symptoms that could indicate mumps to seek medical care.”
Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, headache and swelling of the salivary glands. Other symptoms associated with the mumps include low-grade fever, fatigue, muscle aches and loss of appetite. After a person is exposed to mumps, symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. Mumps cannot be treated.
While the mumps vaccine is not 100 percent effective, two doses of the vaccine provide the best protection against the disease. Individuals who have not previously been diagnosed with mumps or who are unsure of their vaccine history should contact their health care provider or local health department to inquire about receiving the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, known as the MMR.
Here are some everyday preventive actions that can stop the spread of mumps:
- Do not share food, drinks, utensils or other personal items that may contain saliva.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue if you sneeze or cough, and discard the tissue after you use it. If a tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that may be contaminated with germs.
- People with the mumps should stay home, and away from public places for five days after the onset of symptoms and limit contact with others in their household.
For more information about the mumps, visit here.