Fordham University Hit With Mumps Outbreak

Published on February 24, 2014, 6:43 pm
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Fordham University reported an outbreak of mumps that has infected 13 students. The school reported cases of the disease present at both the Rose Hill campus in Bronx and the Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan.

Every student received an e-mail informing them of the outbreak and advising them to be aware of the situation while interacting on campus.

The infected students have been temporarily removed from the campuses. Tthe university said, “All the students with suspected mumps infections have either returned home or have been isolated from other residents during the infectious phase of the illness.”

The disease is highly contagious and can cause fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and swollen glands. Although all students are required to receive the MMR vaccination to prevent against mumps, measles, and rubella it does not provide 100 percent protection against the diseases. The students that became infected had been vaccinated.


Mumps is a contagious disease that is spread from person to person through contact with respiratory secretions, such as saliva from an infected person. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the droplets aerosolize and can enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person. Mumps can also be spread by sharing food and drinks. The virus can also survive on surfaces and then be spread after contact in a similar manner.

A person infected with mumps is contagious from approximately 6 days before the onset of symptoms until about 9 days after symptoms start. The incubation period (time until symptoms begin) can be from 14–25 days, but is typically 16–18 days.

Painful swelling of the salivary glands – classically the parotid gland – is the most typical presentation. Painful testicular swelling (orchitis) and rash may also occur. The symptoms are generally not severe in children. In teenage males and men, complications such as infertility or subfertility are more common, although still rare in absolute terms. The disease is generally self-limiting, running its course before receding, with no specific treatment apart from controlling the symptoms with pain medication.

Fever and headache are prodromal symptoms of mumps, together with malaise and anorexia. Other symptoms of mumps can include dry mouth, sore face and/or ears and occasionally in more serious cases, loss of voice. In addition, up to 20% of persons infected with the mumps virus do not show symptoms, so it is possible to be infected and spread the virus without knowing it.

Males past puberty who develop mumps have a 15–20 percent risk of orchitis, painful inflammation of the testicles.


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