Campus Health & Wellness Information: Mumps

News Release Date: 
05.02.14

The Ohio State University wants to make sure you have the information you need to stay as healthy as possible as we head into summer and, while this might not be top of mind just yet, as you prepare for fall semester.

In light our ties to Ohio State's Columbus campus and our geographic proximity to central Ohio, which has been experiencing a recent outbreak of mumps cases, we are sending this email as a precaution to our students, faculty, and staff to be diligent about their health and hygiene.  The university continues sharing information on an ongoing basis, working with health care and public health professionals to ensure we are following best practices. 

Columbus Public Health and the Ohio Department of Health have advised that cases of mumps will likely continue to rise in Central Ohio, as well as around the state this summer. In addition, we are also aware that some measles cases have been reported and may continue to surface across Ohio. These recent health concerns really underscore the importance of being up-to-date on your vaccines.

While mumps typically does not result in a serious health condition, it is a highly contagious viral illness that is spread by respiratory droplets, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks.

People with mumps are usually contagious from two days before to five days after they develop symptoms. Most people with mumps recover fully within one week. It is important to seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Swelling of the salivary glands

Be Proactive

Because mumps can be spread in much the same way as the flu -- most commonly spread through coughing and sneezing -- it is important that you take precautions to keep yourself, and others, well.  Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting sick or making others ill:

  • Make sure you’re current on your vaccinations. Here’s a list of vaccines recommended by the time you’re 18 years old: CDC Vaccine Checklist.
  • Check with your primary care provider to get your shot record and see if you need a boost of immunity. Some vaccines can protect you from multiple illnesses. For instance, MMR covers measles, mumps and rubella. TDaP can help protect you against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Do not share eating utensils, cups, etc.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of illness.
  • If you’re sick, stay home and seek medical attention if needed.

As always, the health and safety of the Ohio State community is the university's primary concern.