A student at San Diego State University has been diagnosed with mumps, prompting the university to send a campus-wide email alert warning of the case of the contagious disease.
Cory Marshall, interim director of media relations for SDSU, told NBC 7 the single case of mumps involved an SDSU student who lives off campus. The student was diagnosed by her personal physician on March 21.
Marshall said the university was told about the student’s diagnosis on March 28, when her parent called Student Health Services to report the case. As of Friday afternoon, Marshall said the student “is well and is no longer contagious.”
The university does not have any additional confirmed cases of mumps at this time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Initial symptoms include a fever that lasts for a few days, followed by a headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. After that, usually within 48 hours, most people diagnosed with mumps experience the swelling of their salivary glands, leading to puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.
The CDC says mumps can be prevented with the MMR vaccine, which also protects against measles and rubella. The agency recommends children get two doses of the MMR vaccine: at 12 to 15 months of age and then again at age 4 through 6. The CDC says a person with two doses of this vaccine has “about an 88 percent reduction in risk for mumps.”
The CDC said the U.S. mumps vaccination program began in 1967 and, since then, there has been a 99 percent decrease in mumps cases in the United States. Still, the agency notes that outbreaks could occur, “particularly in settings where people have close, prolonged contact, such as universities and close-knit communities.”
It is unknown if the student diagnosed with mumps had been vaccinated against the disease.
The email sent by SDSU to students Friday was addressed from Cynthia Cornelius, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Director of SDSU Student Health Services.
“Mumps is a contagious, viral illness that is primarily preventable through vaccination,” the email read, in part.
The note also outlined how mumps is spread: through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, and throat.
“A person carrying the virus can infect others through coughing, sneezing and the sharing of items, such as water bottles, utensils, and food,” Cornelius added.
Any students or faculty experiencing symptoms of mumps were urged by Cornelius to “self-isolate and see a medical provider as soon as possible.”
Students can contact Student Health Services at (619) 594-4325; the office will be open April 2 to April 5 – during the university’s spring break – in case students need to visit. Students can also call the Nurse Advice Line at (858) 225-3105 after 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on weekends when SDSU is closed. SDSU faculty members and staff can contact the university’s Employee Assistance Program or seek additional resources by calling (800) 342-8111.