OU reports three cases of mumps in students
NORMAN — Three University of Oklahoma students have tested positive for mumps, a highly contagious infection that tends to spread in close quarters.
Dr. Craig Rice, chief of medical staff at OU's Goddard Health Center, said the three are “close acquaintances,” but didn't offer any additional information. Booster shots are available at Goddard for students who are concerned, he said.
“The university has taken all appropriate measures and is closely monitoring the situation,” he said in a news release.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Cleveland County Health Department are working with OU in investigating the cases.
Mumps spreads through tiny water droplets when people cough, sneeze, or talk. People can also get it if they share cups or utensils with someone who has mumps, or if they touch items with trace amounts of saliva on them.
People with mumps generally experience swollen cheeks, a fever, tiredness, muscle aches and loss of appetite. Some people have no symptoms. Usually, symptoms don't appear until at least two weeks after a person is infected.
Most people recover without complications, but mumps can cause inflammation in the brain, spinal cord, testicles or ovaries and breast tissue. In rare cases, it can cause infertility in men.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is about 88 percent effective in preventing mumps in people who have had two doses. It isn't clear whether the three OU students were up to date on their vaccines.
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended a third dose of the vaccine for people who are at an increased risk of getting mumps because of an outbreak in their area but stopped short of recommending it for everyone. Recent outbreaks among vaccinated college students have suggested that the shot's protection may weaken over time.