ADPH investigating 3 student cases of mumps at the University of Alabama

Cody PriceFeb 27, 2017

The Alabama Department of Public Health, in a news release Friday, said it's investigating those cases and working with the school to contact potentially exposed people.

The school will reveal details of its response later in the day during a media availability with Kevin Friese, assistant dean of students, health and wellness.

In the United States, 2016 saw the largest number of mumps cases in the past 10 years.

The Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League have confirmed that about a half-dozen players and a coach have the mumps.

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U of A officials said AHS recommended taking steps to protect themselves, including checking their immunization status by contacting public health officials in their home town if they're unsure.

Federal health officials are convening to discuss whether Americans should have three vaccines for the mumps instead of two, The Washington Post first reported this week.

But she said that even if you are vaccinated - you can still get the disease. ADPH strongly recommends students who do not have any record of MMR and decline to be vaccinated should not attend class for 25 days after exposure to mumps.

Lest you think this is evidence that the MMR vaccine isn't worth the hassle, consider this: Before the mumps vaccine was introduced in 1967, the virus used to be considered a universal disease of childhood, according to the CDC. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, talking, sharing items, and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands. Anyone who does not have immunity to mumps, either through receipt of the two-dose MMR vaccine or a previous mumps infection, should schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine.

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If you get mumps, take medicine to help relieve fever or headache as required, use ice or a heat pack on swollen areas, drink additional fluids to reduce fever and prevent dehydration, and suck on ice chips or flavoured ice pops and eat soft foods that don't require chewing.

"It can cause swelling of the brain and spinal cord, so it is a serious condition if its not contained", Hardy said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mumps spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat.

"The risk of mumps can be significantly reduced with two MMR vaccines".

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