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Oct 07, 2019 08:03 PM EDT

8 Mumps Cases Confirmed in High Point University

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(Photo : mojpe)

The Guilford County Health Department and Novant Health confirmed the 8 cases of mumps from High Point University (HPU). There have also been reports of this contagious disease infecting three students from Elon University. 

The university continues to follow the protocol in place to ensure that no other student is infected. The students who have been diagnosed with mumps received appropriate care, providing them with an alternative home during recovery. This is according to the news released by HPU. 

Mumps is a virus that can spread from person to person through direct contact with the saliva of an infected person or simply by sneezing or coughing. This type of virus can grow in the throat, lymph nodes, and the nose. It causes the swelling of the parotid salivary glands under the ears. The swelling could occur on either or both sides that a small movement of the jaw could bring real pain. Common symptoms include headache, fever, tiredness, and loss of appetite. 

Students diagnosed with mumps are advised to skip class for five days after the onset swelling of the salivary glands. Lab testing may be required to confirm if it is a mumps case, but only a healthcare provider can make a proper diagnosis. The management and treatment for mumps is similar to the protocol for patients with flu. There are no treatments, health care providers can only give symptomatic relief. 

The university officials are taking steps to keep the virus from spreading. They encouraged everyone to cover their mouths with tissue when coughing or sneezing. In addition, they also suggested more frequent handwashing with soap and water. They strongly discouraged the sharing of materials with their saliva on it like water bottles or utensils. 

The administration also planned to launch clean up drive with increased intervals in common areas as an added precautionary measure. This has been confirmed by university officials through an office note to the staff towards the end of September. The note also included the report of five identified cases by the on-campus health clinic. They reported the cases to the health department and are waiting for further instructions. 

To keep the outbreak from claiming more victims, the university launched an education drive to keep the community -- student and staff members -- informed of the symptoms and risks when infected with mumps. The officials have collected and evaluated the most common concerns of the members of the university community and worked with the health department to provide the answers. 

North Carolina law requires all college students to submit themselves for an MMR vaccination. Immunization is the best preventive method against mumps. Except for those with religious or medical reasons, everyone is enjoined to get vaccinated. 

The goal of the university is to keep everyone safe. Should anyone experience swelling of the ears or the neck or any of the other symptoms of mumps, they were advised to contact the High Point University Student Health Center immediately.

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