Students urged to exercise caution in light of 19 possible mumps cases

ADPH is investigating these notifiable disease cases and working closely with Auburn University to contact potentially exposed people.

Health experts say that unlike whooping cough and measles outbreaks, which also took their toll on the country's population, the mumps outbreaks occurred in areas with high rates of immunization.

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Public health officials have been urging Canadians to make sure their vaccinations are up to date. Getting vaccinated now will not prevent illness from exposure at the January 27 event, but should prevent getting mumps after future exposures. Mumps is most likely spread one or two days before and five days after symptoms start. Anyone who does not have immunity to mumps, either through receipt of the two-dose MMR vaccine or a previous mumps infection, should schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. Other symptoms include headache, low-grade fever, tiredness and loss of appetite. The health department was also informed.

The virus is spread through saliva or mucous from the mouth, nose, or throat. As far as symptoms, mumps is best known for puffy cheeks and swollen jaws, but only two-thirds of infected persons experience these.

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The Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League have confirmed about half a dozen players and a coach have confirmed cases of the mumps. In 2016, Alabama reported only one case of mumps.

"It's kind of scary because you think they have all these regulations in place for kids to get vaccinated before they come onto campus", Mullins said.

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It is passed along through saliva and mucus, so kissing or sharing eating and drinking utensils with infected people puts you at risk. Before there was a vaccine for it, mumps was a common childhood disease with over a hundred thousand cases per year. However, people who have received 2 doses of MMR vaccine are about nine times less likely to get mumps than unvaccinated people with the same exposure.


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