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K-State Today

March 14, 2017

Stay strong, not sick, for spring break and beyond

Submitted by Lafene Health Center

University medical professionals from Lafene Health Center are encouraging students, faculty and staff to maintain good health habits even if they have been vaccinated against diseases, including influenza and mumps.

"Kansas State University's primary concern is the health and safety of the university community, and we need everyone's help to reduce the spread of disease in our community," said Jim Parker, director of Lafene Health Center.

The environment of a university community increases likelihood that diseases can spread because people can be contagious before they show symptoms.

"Contagious disease are frequently spread through contact with respiratory droplets or saliva," said Jean DeDonder, Lafene Health Center nursing coordinator. "We always encourage good health habits that include covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; washing your hands often with soap and water, or if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food."

Parker and DeDonder said anyone who begins to show symptoms for influenza or mumps is strongly encouraged to isolate themselves and contact Lafene Health Center during business hours or seek care from another primary care provider.

The university is not alone in combating contagious diseases. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, there are 56 mumps cases reported across 12 Kansas counties and more than 4,000 cases of mumps across the U.S. have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Kansas Department of Health and Environment, after the introduction of the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine, mumps became less common in the U.S. The vaccine prevents most, but not all, cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. Some people who receive two doses of the vaccine can still get mumps, especially if they have prolonged, close contact with someone who has the disease. If a vaccinated person does get mumps, they will likely have less severe illness than an unvaccinated person. Therefore the best way to reduce your chance of getting the disease is by being vaccinated with the MMR vaccine.

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