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A UNC-Chapel Hill student has a confirmed case of the mumps. The dates the student may have been infectious were Jan. 11 through Jan. 18. The risk to the general population of contracting mumps from this student is low. However, we are providing information about mumps and guidance on what to do if you suspect you may have become infected.

Symptoms from exposure to this student could develop between Jan. 23 and Feb. 12.

Individuals who have been in direct contact with the contagious student have been contacted directly.

About Mumps

Mumps is a viral illness best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes. The most common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • unusual tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • headache
  • swollen, tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides

Most people fully recover from mumps, however, medical complications such as inflammation in the brain and organs can occur.

How Mumps is Spread

Mumps is spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets (from coughing and sneezing) and saliva from an infected person. To prevent the spread of this virus, wash your hands frequently, cover your cough and sneezes, avoid close contact with ill individuals, and do not share beverages, eating utensils or cigarettes.

What You Can Do

Symptoms usually begin 16-18 days after exposure, but the range can be as short as 14 days and as long as 25 days from the exposure. People with mumps are most infectious two days before their symptoms begin but may be infectious up to seven days before onset of symptoms.

If you develop symptoms of mumps, (especially facial swelling on one or both sides), you should stay home, away from others, and call Campus Health at 919-966-6603 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or 919-966-6573 (Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic at 919-966-9119 or your healthcare provider prior to visiting the clinic.

We want to make sure our community is well protected against mumps. Getting the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine provides the best protection against mumps. The vaccine is safe and highly effective.

Everyone should know their immunization history and make sure they have received two doses of the vaccine or have had a positive titer consistent with immunity.

Evidence of immunity includes:

  • Documentation by the physician who diagnosed you with mumps, if you had the disease in the past,
  • Documentation of two mumps-containing vaccines (usually MMR) given on or after your first birthday and administered at least 1 month apart, or
  • Documentation of a positive mumps titer (a blood test showing immunity).

If you were born before 1957 you are likely immune to mumps and do not need additional evidence of immunity. People in this age group have likely had mumps in childhood.

For questions or concerns, you may call:

  • Orange County Health Department to speak to a Communicable Disease nurse: 919-245-2400
  • Campus Health Services: 919-966-6603
  • University Employee Occupational Health Clinic – EHS: 919-966-9119

Please check the Campus Health website for updated information. The CDC also has helpful information.

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