Date: September 26, 2006
To: U.Va. Parents
Dr. James C. Turner, U.Va. Student Health, email@example.com
Subject: Student Health Advisory regarding probable cases of mumps
Yesterday morning, the University community received word that a first-year student has been diagnosed with a probable case of mumps.
Many of us who are in our late 40s or older may have had mumps as children. It is a highly contagious viral illness characterized by swelling of the parotid glands, located just below and in front of the ear. At times, the salivary glands under the jaw also are swollen. Because mumps is so contagious, the University is taking every possible precaution to minimize spread of the disease within the community.
The University’s Department of Student Health has contacted nearly 1,000 students for whom it does not have immunization records. If you know that your son or daughter has not received the mumps vaccinations (MMR) then it is important that you let him or her know as soon as possible. Students can receive information about the vaccination at Student Health by calling the MUMPS HOTLINE at 434-924-1525.
Two doses of the MMR vaccine are required. The second needs to be administered 28 days after the first. Two doses of the mumps vaccine are up to 95 percent protective, and will often minimize complications even if a vaccine recipient contracts mumps.
As a general precaution, all students and other members of the University community have been reminded of practicing meticulous cough hygiene, such as covering coughs and sneezes with tissue, frequent hand washing, and the liberal use of alcohol-based sanitizing hand cleanser. With flu season only a few weeks away, these measures are a good idea at all times.
Anyone who develops signs or symptoms of mumps should stay home from classes and from work and contact a health care provider. Students who have questions or who suspect they have mumps can call the MUMPS HOTLINE at 434-924-1525.
Several outbreaks of mumps have occurred on college campuses nationwide in the last seven months, including campuses in Illinois, and in the last month in Kansas. Although cases have occurred among vaccine recipients, vaccination is the only means of minimizing risk of contracting disease and/or suffering serious complications. Unvaccinated persons have a much higher risk of contracting mumps or suffering a complication than do vaccinated persons.
More information is available on the Student Health Web site:
http://www.virginia.edu/studenthealth and www.virginia.edu
For more information on mumps, go to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention Web site: