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Update: Four Mumps Cases Confirmed at WIU-Macomb Campus

May 4, 2018


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MACOMB, IL -- The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting four laboratory-confirmed cases of the mumps among students at Western Illinois University's Macomb campus. The IDPH is working with WIU's Beu Health Center and the McDonough County Health Department to investigate and contain the cases.

"Western Illinois University, in partnership with the McDonough County Health Department, has done an excellent job of informing students on how to avoid contracting mumps and what they should do if they begin to have symptoms," said IDPH Director Dr. Nirav Shah.

The Spring 2018 semester concludes Friday, May 11.

To date, all cases have been among students. Student who have appeared, or are appearing, symptomatic have been/will be isolated for the required five-day isolation period following the onset of symptoms.

Beu Health Center healthcare officials urge individuals who experience symptoms to seek medical treatment immediately. Beu Health Center will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, May 5-6.

According to a mumps fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mumps virus spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, kissing or talking; sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils; and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache and swelling of the glands close to the jaw.

Additional information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/mumps.

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Unconfirmed Cases of Mumps at WIU-Macomb Campus

Posted 5/3/18


MACOMB, IL -- The McDonough County Health Department and Beu Health Center at Western Illinois University have numerous reports of unconfirmed cases of mumps at WIU's Macomb campus. The students who have been examined and appeared symptomatic have been isolated for the required five-day isolation period following the onset of symptoms.

Students who have any symptoms of the mumps should isolate themselves and contact Beu Health Center immediately by calling (309) 298-1888.

"Please do not come directly to the health center without calling. If you have mumps symptoms we need to take precautions during your visit so that we do not infect other patients using the health center," Beu Health Center Director John Smith explained.

If a diagnosis for mumps is made, the student will be encouraged to return home. If that is not an option, the University has quarantine facilities available, Smith added.

The mumps virus spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, kissing or talking; sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils; and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands.

In an effort to maintain a healthy campus community, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take the following precautions to avoid the mumps virus:

- Make sure your MMR vaccine is up-to-date. If you are unsure if you received two doses of the MMR vaccine, get vaccinated. Students who have not received the required doses have been contacted, Smith noted.

Individuals who have had the mumps virus are immune (an additional vaccination is unnecessary). Students can check immunization records online at Beu Health Center. Students can receive an MMR vaccination by contacting Student Health Services at (309) 298-1888. Faculty and staff contact should contact their healthcare provider.

- Wash your hands well and often with soap and water.

- Do not share eating utensils and beverages with others.

- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

- Clean frequently touched surfaces with soap and water.

- Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.

Watch for mumps symptoms, even if fully vaccinated. Initial symptoms include:

- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Generalized discomfort
- Headache
- Low-grade fever

- After a period of one to two days, symptoms may progress to:
- Swelling in one or both of the salivary glands in front of the ears
- Pain / tenderness along the jaw
- Swelling / pain in testicles in males (post-puberty); lower abdominal pain from swelling of ovaries in females who have reached puberty (< 20% of cases)

"We are providing as much information to educate the campus community about the mumps virus and how to prevent or treat the illness," Smith added. "Please help each other remain healthy by following these good health practices."

Additional information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/mumps or Beu Health Center.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations