FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

More than a dozen suspected mumps cases at Baltimore university

Officials at Loyola University in Baltimore said last week that more than a dozen students came down with mumps or suspected mumps cases.

Loyola University officials said the cases started in mid-February, and they are advising students on ways to prevent the virus from spreading. Affected students live both on and off campus and the Maryland and Baltimore health departments are looking into potential links among the students, Associated Press reports.

Baltimore's health department said 12 of the mumps cases are confirmed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said mumps used to be common but became rare now that most are vaccinated against the disease. Loyola officials said vaccination for the disease is required for enrollment.

Patrick Chaulk, Baltimore's assistant health commissioner, said the mumps vaccine is approximately 90 percent effective and that outbreaks most frequently occur at universities, according to Associated Press.

According to the CDC, mumps is a contagious disease caused by the mumps virus. Mumps usually begins with a few days of fever, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, muscle aches and a loss of appetite. The symptoms are followed by the swelling of salivary glands. Mumps is spread by droplets of mucus or saliva from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected person.

There is no specific treatment for mumps.