A University of the Pacific student was recently diagnosed with mumps and may have exposed other members of the Stockton campus community to the illness. It is believed that the risk to the campus community is low because the student only attended classes one day while infectious last week.
Because of the brief exposure to classmates and faculty members, the University is taking steps to further reduce the risk and is working with Public Health Services of San Joaquin County to contact anyone on campus who may have been in contact with the student. The infected student is now recovering under quarantine at home. No other cases have been discovered.
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 typically develop 2 to 3 weeks after exposure to the virus. The most common symptoms of mumps are fever, headache, and swollen or tender salivary glands under the ears, jaw or tongue. The virus also can cause painful, swollen testicles in males. Individuals with mumps are most infectious from 1 to 2 days before until 5 days after onset of the swollen glands. There is a risk of infection when standing less than 3 feet from the person for more than 5 minutes.
For more information about mumps, visit the Centers for Disease Control page at http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/.
The best prevention is to make sure your immunizations are up-to-date and complete. Most people who have had two doses of the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine will be protected against mumps. However, 5 to 10% of individuals properly vaccinated may still be susceptible to mumps. Some individuals who have had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine may choose to get a MMR booster. Recommendations from various sources are mixed on whether this is an effective method in minimizing the spread of the infection. The MMR vaccine is not appropriate for pregnant women or individuals with a weakened immune system. Students unsure of their vaccine status can go to MyHealth@Pacific at https://healthservices.pacific.edu/login_directory.aspx.
If you suspect you have mumps, immediately limit your contact with other people and do not attend class, work or social functions. Be sure to cover your mouth and nose when coughing and clean your hands often with soap and water. Contact Pacific Health Services at 209.946.2315 ext. 1 to determine if mumps testing is warranted or if you have questions or concerns about this incident and how it might affect you.