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‘Probable Case’ of Mumps Reported at Loyola

Courtesy of U.S. Air ForceA "probable case" of mumps was reported at Loyola, but the Wellness Center said because it's a single case, there's not a reason to worry.

A student at Loyola has been diagnosed with a probable case of mumps, according to an email sent to students by Loyola’s Wellness Center Nov. 28.

The student diagnosed lives off campus, the Wellness Center said. Students, faculty and staff who might have come in contact with the student will be notified by the Chicago Department of Public Health, according to the email.

The Wellness Center said it’s a single case, and students shouldn’t panic.

“Please know that this is only a single case of probable mumps and is not cause for alarm,” the email said.

Complications of mumps include inflammation of the testicles and ovaries, inflammation of the brain and deafness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The first symptoms of mumps include headaches, body aches, a low fever, low appetite and fatigue, followed by swelling of the glands around the ears and neck, according to the email. Mumps is contagious and can be spread through sneezing, coughing or direct contact with the saliva of someone who has it.

The mumps vaccination is required for all incoming Loyola students enrolled in seven or more credit hours, according to the Wellness Center’s website. It’s unclear how many credit hours the student was enrolled in.

Two doses of the mumps vaccine are 88 percent effective, according to the CDC. Since the vaccination program started in 1967, there has been a 99 percent decrease in mumps cases in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The mumps vaccination is the best way of preventing mumps, according to Joan Holden, director of the Wellness Center.

Recently, mumps outbreaks have most commonly occurred on college or university campuses, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In October, the University of Michigan reported four cases of students with mumps, according to the university’s health service. In May, there were four reported cases of mumps at Western Illinois University, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

If a student believes they have symptoms of mumps they should contact their healthcare provider or the Wellness Center for laboratory testing, the email said.  

Holden couldn’t provide further information on the case.

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