Beu Health Center

Mumps FAQs

Q: What is mumps?
A: Mumps is a contagious viral infection of the salivary glands that is spread through saliva or mucus. The virus can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing, or kissing. Items used by an infected person such as drinking cups, eating utensils, toothbrushes, and cigarettes, can also be contaminated with the virus and spread to others when those items are shared.
Q: Who is at risk for mumps?
A: People at highest risk for mumps are those who have not received any doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and those who have received only one dose of MMR. For every 100 people vaccinated against mumps, 80 or 90 of them will be fully protected and 10 to 20 will remain at risk for the disease.
Q: How do I protect myself from mumps?
A: Make sure you are up-to-date on your MMR vaccine. If you are not sure if you received two doses of MMR vaccine, get vaccinated. Other things you can do to reduce the risk of being infected with the mumps virus include: washing your hands well and often with soap and water, not sharing eating utensils and beverages with others, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, cleaning frequently touched surfaces with soap and water, and avoiding close contact with individuals who are sick.
Q: Can I receive a 3rd MMR vaccination?
A: Current CDC guidelines do not require 3 MMR vaccinations. Students wishing to receive a 3rd MMR may receive one at Beu Health Center by calling our appointment line at (309) 298-1888. The charge for the vaccine at BHC is $95.
Q: What are the symptoms of mumps?
A: Mumps typically starts with a fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Some people will have swelling of their salivary glands, which is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Individuals with mumps are actually the most contagious two days before becoming ill and for five days after. The incubation period for someone who has caught the mumps virus is 12-25 days. Among males, mumps can lead to testicular inflammation that causes pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting and fever. Among some women with mumps, inflammation of the ovaries or breasts can occur. Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms should contact their doctor right away and limit their exposure to others.
Q: Is there a cure for mumps?
A: There are currently no medications to treat the mumps virus, but MMR vaccine prevents most cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. Treatment for mumps is focused on relieving symptoms until your body’s immune system fights off the infection.
Q: What should I do if I have symptoms of the mumps?
A: If you have any symptoms of the mumps, please isolate yourself and contact Beu Health center immediately, (309) 298-1888. 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. We are providing as much information to educate the campus community about the mumps virus and how to prevent or treat the illness.