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Kansas State University
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Manhattan, KS 66506

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Mumps frequently asked questions

Kansas State University has confirmed student cases of mumps.

Students, faculty and staff with symptoms — even if they have received two MMR vaccinations — should immediately call Lafene Health Center at 785-532-6544 or a medical provider and ask for a nurse before they visit the health center.

Questions and answers

Mumps

What causes mumps?

Mumps is caused by a virus.

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How does mumps spread?

Mumps spreads from person to person via droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks.

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What are the symptoms of mumps?

Individuals with mumps usually first feel sick with nonspecific symptoms like headache, loss of appetite and low-grade fever. The most well-known sign of mumps is parotitis, the swelling of the salivary glands, or parotid glands, in front of and below the ear.

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How long does it take to show symptoms of mumps after being exposed?

The incubation period for mumps is usually 16-18 days, but can range from 12-25 days.

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How serious is mumps?

In children, mumps is usually a mild disease. Adults may have more serious disease and more complications.

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Is there a treatment for mumps?

There is no cure for mumps, only supportive treatment (bed rest, fluids and fever reduction).

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How is mumps diagnosed?

Mumps is diagnosed by a combination of symptoms and physical signs and laboratory confirmation of the virus, as not all cases develop characteristic parotitis and not all cases of parotitis are caused by mumps.

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How long is a person with mumps contagious?

People with mumps are usually considered most infectious from a few days before until five days after the onset of parotitis. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends isolating mumps patients for five days after their glands begin to swell.

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What should be done if someone is exposed to mumps?

Any student exposed to the mumps should check his/her immunization records to determine if he/she has received two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine. If an exposed student has not been vaccinated against mumps, receiving the MMR vaccinations after exposure to the virus will not help prevent disease if the person has already been infected, but may help to decrease the symptoms of the illness. If the exposed individual did not become infected after this particular exposure, the vaccine may help protect him or her against future infection with mumps virus. Send a copy of your immunization records to K-State's Lafene Health Center: fax, 785-532-3425, or email, lafene@k-state.edu.

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I don't have symptoms. How can I protect myself?

To protect yourself from the mumps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:

  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoiding sharing drinks or eating utensils.
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters.

Vaccinations

What is the MMR vaccine?

Since 1971, three vaccines were combined into one injection to form the MMR vaccine. The vaccine contains live, attenuated — or weakened — strains of the measles, mumps and rubella viruses, and is given subcutaneously — in the fatty layer of tissue under the skin.

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Who recommends this vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Physicians have all recommended this vaccine.

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Where can I get the MMR vaccine?

Contact Lafene Health Center at 785-532-6544 to schedule an appointment, or contact your health care provider.

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I have already received two MMR vaccinations. Can I still get the mumps?

Even if you have received the two MMR vaccinations, it is still possible to get the mumps. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two doses of the vaccine are 88 percent effective at preventing mumps. That means about 12 percent of people who receive both doses of the mumps may still contract the disease.

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How can I locate my old vaccination records?

The Immunization Action Coalition has tips for locating old immunization records

Students should check with their medical providers to make sure they received two doses of the MMR vaccine. Copies of immunization records, including these vaccines, should be faxed to 785-532-3425 or e-mailed to Lafene Health Center at lafene@k-state.edu.

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Kansas State University

If a student has the mumps, what should he/she be doing?

Students with symptoms — even if they have received two MMR vaccinations — should immediately call Lafene Health Center at 785-532-6544 and ask for a nurse before they visit the health center.  

People with mumps are usually considered most infectious from a few days before until five days after the onset of parotitis. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends isolating mumps patients for five days after their glands begin to swell. Students are isolated for five days after their symptoms begin. Unless they have complications, they are allowed to return to classes and normal activities after the five-day time period. 

The Office of Student Life can answer questions about class absences. Contact the office at 785-532-6432 or stulife@k-state.edu.

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Is it safe for students to remain at K-State? Should students go home?

It is still safe for students who do not have mumps to remain at K-State. 

K-State students should take appropriate hygienic precautions — such as frequently washing hands with soap and water; covering mouths and noses if they cough or sneeze; avoiding sharing eating utensils or cups; and reviewing their vaccination records to see if they have had two measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccinations. 

The Office of Student Life can answer questions about class absences. Contact the office at 785-532-6432 or stulife@k-state.edu.

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What is Kansas State University doing to stop the spread of mumps?

 

The health and safety of the university community is Kansas State University's primary concern.

The university has taken action to stop the spread of mumps:

* The university's Lafene Health Center is working with the Riley County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to provide information to the Manhattan campus and surrounding community about the symptoms of mumps, how it is transmitted and how to prevent the spread of this infection.

* To answer questions, the university has set up a phone bank at 785‐532‐SAFE (785‐532‐7233). Questions can also be submitted through an online form.

* Students, family members, faculty and staff may read the university's mumps update website for more information, resources and a list of frequently asked questions.

* The university is using K‐State Today, social media and the K‐State website to continue to inform students, faculty, staff, family members and the university community about the situation.

* Lafene Health Center is offering measles‐mumps‐rubella, or MMR, vaccinations for Kansas State University students, faculty and staff.

* Mumps prevention posters have been placed across campus to remind students not to assume they are immune to mumps.

* Health professionals with Lafene Health Center are meeting with student groups, classes and organizations as well as students living on‐campus and off‐campus.

* Faculty members are reminding students to take appropriate hygienic precautions.

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