Four out of five University of San Diego students who have contracted the mumps had the required MMR vaccine, according to the university's health director.
Now, in the midst of a mumps outbreak, students and faculty are being advised to get vaccinated again even if they’ve already received the required immunizations for admission.
University of San Diego offered free immunizations Tuesday to faculty, staff and students on campus to help fight a mumps outbreak.
Five students have been diagnosed with the mumps in recent weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines an outbreak as three or more cases with a common link.
Sophomore Max Pedrotti was one of those trying to “reel in” students to get the MMR vaccine on Tuesday.
“If one person on our cross-country team gets the mumps then we can’t compete,” Pedrotti said. “I have to make sure everyone gets it.”
On Monday, San Diego County Health and Human Services officials reported three more undergraduate students had the mumps after coming in contact with the student who was first diagnosed in February.
A total of five students have the mumps so far and USD Health Director Pam Sikes said four of them had already received the two MMR vaccines required for admission into public schools.
Those Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccines provide an 88-percent effectiveness over the human lifespan, according to the CDC.
However, Sikes said, when there’s an outbreak and it’s been 15 or more years since the vaccines has been received, a third dose is necessary.
“There can be a false sense of security,” Sikes said. “What we do know, through the cycle and spread that this is going to continue to spread unless we do something different.”
Free immunizations are being offered to all undergraduate students at the university to keep the outbreak from spreading. USD students and staff can call (619) 260-4595 to find out details.
Symptoms of the mumps includes fever, headache, earache, and inflammation of the salivary glands.
Coughing, sneezing, kissing or close contact with an infected person can spread the disease.