CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The College of Charleston has confirmed two more cases of the mumps in the past week bringing the total number to seven.
“Per S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control guidelines, College health officials are in the process of notifying the close contacts of people confirmed to have the virus,” officials said. “At present, the College’s health professionals are aware of a total of seven cases of mumps at the College of Charleston.”
The first three cases were identified in mid-September with their symptoms beginning between Sept. 15-21. The second two were identified between Sept. 25 and Oct. 2. The most recent two cases were identified between Oct. 3 and Oct. 9.
DHEC says the best way to prevent the disease is to get vaccinated.
Mumps is a contagious viral infection that may result in parotitis, which causes swelling in the cheek and jaw area below the ear. Other common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms and often do not know they have the disease. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks. Mumps can occasionally cause complications including deafness, inflammation of the testicles, brain, tissue covering the brain, ovaries, and breasts. Mumps is spread through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat.
According to DHEC, a single dose of vaccine is estimated to be 78% effective at preventing mumps, while two doses are about 88% effective. Some individuals who have been vaccinated can still get the mumps. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are recommended for all children. The MMR vaccine is required for entry for all students in 5K through 12 grade and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends two doses of MMR vaccine for all college students.
To prevent the spread of the mumps virus, individuals are advised to:
- Wash their hands frequently.
- Do not to share food, beverages, eating utensils or cigarettes.
- Cover their nose and mouth when they cough and sneeze.
- Avoid close contact with ill individuals.