Date: October 17, 2006
To: All U.Va. Students (undergraduates and graduates)
From: Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Subject: Measures to help avoid the mumps
Over the past few weeks, 16 individuals within the local area have developed symptoms consistent with mumps. Twelve of the 16 cases are U.Va. students, all undergraduates. Of the total cases, 13 people have completely recovered. The other three have mild cases and are expected to recover soon. All of the cases involve people who had been vaccinated.
Given the closely shared living environment of many students, we want to remind you of some very simple but important measures that can be helpful in avoiding mumps and other contagious diseases. Please remember to:
• Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water.
• Avoid sharing drinking and eating utensils.
• Cover your mouth and nose, preferably with a tissue, when coughing or sneezing.
• If you do develop symptoms, stay home and call Student Health (982-3915) to determine the best steps to take.
These measures are a good idea at any time, but especially now with flu season approaching and mumps appearing to be on the increase. The number of confirmed cases of mumps means the local area is experiencing a mumps outbreak as defined by the Centers for Disease Control.
Mumps is a virus that can cause fever, headache, muscle aches, and swelling and tenderness of the glands close to the jaw. Serious complications are rare. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes or through direct contact with the saliva of an infected person. Symptoms usually appear about18 days after exposure, but may appear any time within 12 to 25 days. Mumps is contagious three days before the onset of swelling of the glands close to the jaw.
Student Health will hold the fall Immunization Clinic on Wednesday, November 1, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Newcomb Hall Ballroom. Flu shots will be available. If you need to receive the immunization for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), that will also be available. If you have not received the MMR or any other immunizations required by the University, this is a good opportunity to protect your health and avoid being blocked from registration for the spring semester.
The health department and U.Va. have worked together to provide opportunities for unvaccinated students to get the MMR shots and to take steps to reduce the risk that infected students will pass the disease on to others. Currently, 99.1 percent of all U.Va. students have been vaccinated with the MMR.
More details about mumps, the clinic, and related information is available on the Student Health Web site: www.virginia.edu/studenthealth