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

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

In addition, frequent hand washing and respiratory etiquette are also encouraged to help prevent spread of the disease.

"Although the disease has not been serious, the disruption and expense it has caused for local and state health officials has been significant", said Mona Marin, a viral diseases expert with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CBC News reports said. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, tiredness and loss of appetite.

He noted that when the vaccine for mumps was first introduced in 1970, the initial recommendation was for a single dose - but two doses has been the recommendation since 1996.

In Nova Scotia, Dr. Trevor Arnason, medical officer of health for Halifax, Eastern Shore and West Hants areas, said there had been one case of mumps reported in January in the Halifax area and that the person had spent time in Toronto.

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The university said the three students are no longer contagious and they have resumed normal activities. Complications from mumps, although rare, can include inflammation of the testicles, ovaries, breasts and/or brain. It is as contagious as flu and those infected usually are contagious before symptoms appear and for a few days after, so they can spread the virus without realizing it, according to the announcement. It is among the infections covered by the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, which is required in Pennsylvania. Students may schedule an appointment at University Health Services; faculty and staff should contact their primary care providers. "ADPH strongly recommends students who do not have any record of MMR and decline to be vaccinated should not attend class for 25 days after exposure to mumps".

Dr. Sarah Wilson, a medical epidemiologist with Public Health Ontario, said individuals in the age range now more susceptible to mumps may also be more at risk due to their behaviour traits.

The university is working with the Monroe County Health Department and Indiana State Department of Health to identify and notify anyone who may have been in close contact with the students.

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