MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2018

California mumps outbreak grows

A mumps outbreak on the campus of the University of California - Berkeley has grown, with six people confirmed infected and 13 people undergoing testing.
University Health Services and Berkeley's public health division said they were working with the California Department of Public Health to limit the spread of the disease. Free vaccinations are now available at the university, UPI reports.
"We recommend vaccination for those who are not certain they have received two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine," a UC Berkeley statement said, according to UPI. "Some people may still be susceptible to mumps after receiving two recommended doses of vaccine - one when children are ages 12-15 months and a second at ages four to six - and there is good evidence that an additional third dose of MMR may be helpful in stopping mumps outbreaks."
University officials cautioned the public to be alert for symptoms of mumps for the next three to four weeks. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, swollen or tender salivary glands under the ears, jaw or under the tongue or on both sides of the face. Officials said that those infected should not attend classes or work for five days after the onset of symptoms.
"We strongly encourage all UC students, faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status, to receive an additional dose of MMR," the statement said, according to UPI. "However, MMR vaccine is not appropriate for pregnant women or for individuals with weakened immune systems. Anyone born in 1956 or earlier does not need a vaccination."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while most recover fully from mumps, some develop complications, including temporary or permanent deafness, inflammation of the ovaries and/or breasts in females, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and inflammation of the testicles, which can lead to sterility.