healthservices

Mumps Information

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    Campus Communications

       


       

      Important information regarding mumps for faculty and staff

      To:   Faculty and Staff
      From: Martha Sullivan, MS, FNP-BC, Director of Health Services
      Re: Important information regarding your vaccination/immunity status against mumps
      Date: May 10, 2013

      The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is encouraging all faculty and staff at the College of the Holy Cross to check with their primary care physicians regarding their vaccination/immunity status against measles, mumps and rubella.  Due to the recent outbreak of mumps on campus, all employees should have documentation of two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations or laboratory evidence of immunity. 

      If you have not received two doses of MMR, please obtain the vaccination -- even if you do not have symptoms -- from your doctor or local pharmacy.  Birth before 1957 is usually considered adequate immunity against mumps.

      If you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system, you should contact your primary care provider to discuss the recent outbreak on campus.

      If you have a child living on campus and they have not received two doses of MMR vaccine, you should contact your child’s physician to discuss the mumps outbreak on campus and evaluate if your child should receive an expedited series of MMR vaccination or laboratory evidence of immunity against mumps.

      Additional information and updates will be posted on this website.

       

       


       

      Update of important information related to mumps

      To: Members of the Holy Cross Community
      From: Martha Sullivan, MS, FNP-BC, Director of Health Services
      Date: May 7, 2013

      The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed a total of five cases of mumps on the Holy Cross campus since March. All of these individuals are either recovered or recovering. There are currently no suspicious cases on campus that we are aware of.   

      All Holy Cross students (except for those very few with medical waivers) are appropriately immunized with MMR vaccine, which is the most effective way to prevent infection. Most individuals who are exposed to the virus do not contract it. If someone of college-age does become sick, the illness is often less serious and the symptoms less severe.

      We are updating the entire Holy Cross community for general awareness and as a measure to limit the spread of the virus.

      Please review the information below to learn ways to further protect yourself, your friends and family. Additional information and updates are available on the Health Services website.

      What is mumps?
      Mumps is an infection of the salivary glands caused by a virus.

      What are the symptoms?
      The most common symptoms are fever, headache, stiff neck, loss of appetite, swelling and tenderness of salivary glands. About one third of all people who get mumps do not get the swollen glands.  Very rarely, the virus can also cause swelling of the heart and joints, meningitis (swelling of the brain and spinal cord), and  encephalitis (swelling of the brain itself).

      How is mumps spread?
      The virus that causes mumps lives in the nose and throat and is sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks. Other people nearby can then inhale the virus. Touching tissues or sharing a cup used by someone with mumps also spreads the virus. People may be able to spread mumps from 2 days before symptom onset to 5 days after symptom onset. The first symptoms usually appear 14-18 days after a person has been exposed to mumps, although sometimes it can be as long as 25 days after exposure.  

      How can it be prevented?
      There is a vaccine to prevent mumps (it protects against measles, mumps, and rubella and is called the MMR).  Most children and young adults have received at least 1 dose of MMR vaccine.  Two doses of MMR vaccine are more effective than 1 dose.

      Recommendations

      • All individuals with only 1 dose of MMR vaccine should receive a second dose of vaccine if eligible.
      • Individuals with no doses of MMR vaccine should receive their first dose (unless they have laboratory evidence of immunity).
      • Birth before 1957 is usually considered adequate evidence of immunity for mumps.  The exception is health care workers who should have two doses of MMR or laboratory evidence immunity.

       

      What should pregnant women or those with weakened immune systems do?
      If you are pregnant (or think that you might be) or if you have a weakened immune system, it is very important that you contact your health care provider right away.

      What students on campus should do if they develop symptoms suggestive of the mumps:

      • Call Health Services at (508) 793-2276 to be triaged over the phone, or contact your primary care provider for an evaluation.
      • If you experience symptoms after leaving campus at the end of the semester, see your primary care provider and bring this advisory with you.
      • If you receive a blood test from another provider, it is important that your blood work is sent to a Massachusetts state lab in order to avoid delay and ensure proper tracking. If you are at home in another state and develop symptoms, your blood work should be sent to your state lab.
      • As an important aspect of good health practices, students should avoid coughing or sneezing into the air, and should wash their hands and use hand sanitizers frequently.  We also urge students not to drink fluids from the same container.

       
      Holy Cross Health Services is located in Loyola Hall, and hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m to noon and 1-5 p.m. If a student is ill and needs assistance when Health Services is closed, contact Public Safety at (508) 793-2224.  An on-call physician from the University of Massachusetts/Memorial Health Care is available through Hahnemann Family Health Center at (508) 334-8830.

      What employees should do if they believe they are at risk or develop symptoms suggestive of the mumps:

      • See your primary care provider, especially if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are pregnant or think you might be.
      • If you receive a blood test, it is important that your blood work is sent to a Massachusetts state lab in order to avoid delay and ensure proper tracking. We suggest you take a copy of this advisory with you to your health care provider.

       
      Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

      Additional information and updates will be posted at the Health Services website as well as communicated to the Campus Community as it becomes available.

       


       

      Important information related to mumps

      To: Members of the Holy Cross Community
      From: Martha Sullivan, MS, FNP-BC, Director of Health Services
      Date: May 2, 2013

      The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed two cases of mumps on the Holy Cross campus.

      All Holy Cross students (except for those very few with medical waivers) are appropriately immunized with MMR vaccine, which is the most effective way to prevent infection. Most individuals who are exposed to the virus do not contract it. If someone of college-age does become sick, the illness is often less serious and the symptoms less severe.

      The two individuals from Holy Cross are being treated and receiving good care. A few other individuals are being monitored to determine exposure and rule out illness.

      We are notifying the entire Holy Cross community for general awareness and as a measure to limit the spread of the virus. Please review the information below to learn ways to further protect yourself, your friends and family. Additional information and updates are available on the Health Services website.

      What is mumps?

      Mumps is an infection of the salivary glands caused by a virus.

      What are the symptoms?

      The most common symptoms are fever, headache, stiff neck, loss of appetite, swelling and tenderness of salivary glands.  About one third of all people who get mumps do not get the swollen glands.  Very rarely, the virus can also cause swelling of the heart and joints, meningitis (swelling of the brain and spinal cord), and  encephalitis (swelling of the brain itself).

      How is mumps spread?

      The virus that causes mumps lives in the nose and throat and is sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks.  Other people nearby can then inhale the virus.  Touching tissues or sharing a cup used by someone with mumps also spreads the virus. People may be able to spread mumps from 2 days before symptom onset to 5 days after symptom onset.  The first symptoms usually appear 14-18 days after a person has been exposed to mumps, although sometimes it can be as long as 25 days after exposure.   

      How can it be prevented?

      There is a vaccine to prevent mumps (it protects against measles, mumps, and rubella and is called the MMR).  Most children and young adults have received at least 1 dose of MMR vaccine.  Two doses of MMR vaccine are more effective than 1 dose.

      Recommendations

      • All individuals with only 1 dose of MMR vaccine should receive a second dose of vaccine if eligible.
      • Individuals with no doses of MMR vaccine should receive their first dose (unless they have laboratory evidence of immunity).
      • Birth before 1957 is usually considered adequate evidence of immunity for mumps.  The exception is health care workers who should have two doses of MMR or laboratory evidence immunity.

       

      What should pregnant women or those with weakened immune systems do?

      If you are pregnant (or think that you might be) or if you have a weakened immune system, it is very important that you contact your health care provider right away.

      What students on campus should do if they develop symptoms suggestive of the mumps:

      • Call Health Services at (508) 793-2276 to be triaged over the phone, or contact your primary care provider for an evaluation.
      • If you receive a blood test from another provider, it is important that your blood work is sent to a Massachusetts state lab in order to avoid delay and ensure proper tracking.  If you are at home in another state and develop symptoms, your blood work should be sent to your state lab.
      • As an important aspect of good health practices, students should avoid coughing or sneezing into the air, and should wash their hands and use hand sanitizers frequently.  We also urge students not to drink fluids from the same container.

         

        Holy Cross Health Services is located in Loyola Hall, and hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m to noon and 1-5 p.m. If a student is ill and needs assistance when Health Services is closed, contact Public Safety at (508) 793-2224.  An on-call physician from the University of Massachusetts/Memorial Health Care is available through Hahnemann Family Health Center at (508) 334-8830.

        What employees should do if they believe they are at risk or develop symptoms suggestive of the mumps:

        • See your primary care provider, especially if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are pregnant or think you might be.
        • If you receive a blood test, it is important that your blood work is sent to a Massachusetts state lab in order to avoid delay and ensure proper tracking. We suggest you take a copy of this advisory with you to your health care provider.

         

        Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

        Additional information and updates will be posted at the Health Services website as well as communicated to the Campus Community as it becomes available.