Eighteen cases of mumps have been reported at Ohio State since the first case was reported last week.
OSU spokeswoman Liz Cook said in an email Tuesday two new cases of mumps were identified by Columbus Public Health, bringing the total number of cases reported to 18.
Jose Rodriguez, spokesman for Columbus Public Health, said Tuesday two of the 18 infected are not students, but they are linked to student cases.
Mumps is a viral infection of the salivary glands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. It can spread through coughing, sneezing or contact with saliva or mucus.
According to the CDC website, the disease can be carried without any symptoms.
Those who are affected by mumps might have swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears or jaw on the side of the face, fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and inflammation of the testicles in men, according to the CDC. The website also says there is no specific treatment for mumps, but it is usually gone in a week or two.
Notice of the outbreak has been sent to health departments across the state, Rodriguez said.
“Since a majority of Ohio State students live in (Ohio), we sent the notice so they can be on the lookout and notify us so that we can link those cases back to the investigation,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said most of the students who have mumps were vaccinated.
According to the CDC, those who have received two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine are about nine times less likely to get mumps than those who have not received the vaccine.
OSU students are not required to get an MMR vaccination unless it is a specific requirement for their program, according to the Student Health Services website. Students interested in a vaccination are able to receive one through health services after a screening.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, the last outbreak of mumps in Ohio was in 2010, when 15 cases were reported in Lake and Cuyahoga counties.
A 2006 mumps outbreak which began in Iowa drew OSU’s attention at the time, according to Lantern archives. According to the CDC website, there were about 6,580 cases reported nationwide, primarily Midwestern college students living in dorms.
Two cases of mumps had been confirmed in Morgan County, Ill., as of Monday, according to the Morgan County Health Department website.
Rodriguez said Thursday there might be carriers of mumps on campus who have not yet been reported. He added that Columbus Public Health recommended students be isolated to prevent exposure to others.
OSU Interim President Joseph Alutto sent a message to students, staff and faculty Thursday evening about the cases.
“We are sharing this information with you as quickly as possible, and we are working with health care and public health professionals to ensure we are following best practices. At this time, we also are working to understand the common factors among those who are affected,” the email read.
Liz Young contributed to this story.
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