University Health Services reported two more cases of the mumps on the University of Wisconsin campus Tuesday.
The number of cases has now increased to five, up from two in early April.
Mumps is a contagious virus that spreads through coughing, sneezing or any kind of close contact with an infected person. Symptoms are often flu-like, with a fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Often, symptoms can be followed by swelling of the cheek and jaw area.
UHS Executive Director Sarah Van Orman said students should be mindful of the virus, as even those with the vaccination can contract mumps.
“Mumps should be approached just like the flu,” Van Orman said. “Be fully immunized. Most people have been. Usually the immunizations work very well, but they don’t work for everyone. If you do display symptoms of the virus, come in, see us, and if you are diagnosed with mumps, stay at home and isolate yourself so you don’t infect others.”
Van Orman said there is no treatment for mumps, other than rest and taking Tylenol or ibuprofen for the pain.
Van Orman said the virus usually resolves itself in about five to seven days, but there are rare extreme cases, which is why UHS wants to monitor the situation closely and prevent outbreaks.
“[Mumps] used to be pretty rare,” Van Orman said. “Last time we had an outbreak at UW it was 2006. But this year there are over 100 cases documented at Ohio State University, so it is becoming more prevalent.”
UHS strongly urges students to practice proper hygiene and to see a doctor if experiencing any symptoms.
[Photo by Michael Forster Rothbart/UW Communications]