2 Pacific students diagnosed with mumpsSan Joaquin County health officials, university working to stop spread of illness
STOCKTON - San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS), in close collaboration with University of the Pacific, has confirmed mumps in two Pacific students and is investigating seven additional symptomatic students. These are the first confirmed cases of mumps in San Joaquin County since 2011.
Public health officials are recommending that fully vaccinated students get another dose of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine for added protection. "We're recommending that third dose to try to stop the spread of the disease," Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, assistant health officer said. "It does help if high numbers of students take that third dose." Students who have never had the MMR vaccine or have had only one dose, should also be vaccinated.
University of the Pacific is working with the affected students and has communicated to students, faculty and staff on its campuses advising them of how to obtain the MMR vaccination through the university's wellness center or their primary care provider or pharmacy. "Our priority is to ensure that the students are taken care of and that faculty, staff and the Pacific community take measures to protect themselves," said Pacific's Vice President for Student Life Patrick Day.
The first symptomatic student traveled to an out-of-state conference in mid-February, developing symptoms in early March. Since late March, additional students who were close contacts of the initial student developed symptoms of inflammation of the parotid gland, with mumps confirmed in two of these contacts. The affected students are in the physical therapy and pharmacy programs. Students in the Physician Assistant Program, located in Sacramento, also take a course in the pharmacy program on the Stockton campus and are being contacted.
Day and Vaishampayan both urged students to seek treatment at Pacific Health Services or their primary care provider should they experience symptoms and to avoid attending classes and going to work until they have been cleared by their medical provider.
Mumps is a contagious viral infection that is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat of an infected person. Symptoms of mumps include a swollen jaw and puffy cheeks as well as fever, headache, muscle aches and tiredness. To avoid transmission, students should wash their hands frequently and refrain from sharing food, drinks or cigarettes. Anyone with mumps should stay home for at least five days after onset.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mumps outbreaks can occur in communities with close contact, such as colleges and camps, even with high rates of vaccination.
For more information about mumps, visit the Centers for Disease Control page at http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/.
Keith Michaud, University of the Pacific | (209) 946-3275 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Kim, San Joaquin County Public Health Services | (209) 468-3842