Update On Campus Mumps Outbreak

The following message was sent to the campus community on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019:

 

Dear Campus Community:

We are providing you the most up-to-date information surrounding the ongoing mumps outbreak on campus. At this time, two new mumps cases have been confirmed this week. 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.

At present, the College’s health professionals are aware of a total of five cases of mumps at the College of Charleston.

If you have had close contact with someone symptomatic with the mumps, monitor yourself for any possible symptoms. If you have never received the MMR vaccine, the recommendation is to receive the full two-dose MMR series. For those who have not received the MMR vaccine, please visit a local pharmacy, urgent care facility or primary care physician. Students, once the vaccination is given, please bring a copy of the record to Student Health Services. The vaccine will not prevent infection if you have already been exposed, but will protect you from future exposure.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR STUDENTS
The College’s Student Health Services is still processing vaccination records. For those students whose documentation is not on file or up-to-date with the College, please upload your immunization records electronically using the College’s Medicat system https://cofc.medicatconnect.com/. This is the same system that students use for scheduling appointments in the College’s Student Health Center.

At this stage of the College’s response, it remains important to be aware of the symptoms and take steps to keep our community healthy. The College has created a regularly updated FAQ as an additional resource.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Mumps is a highly infectious disease passed through saliva and respiratory secretions. While the incubation period ranges from 12 to 25 days, symptoms often appear 16 to 18 days after exposure. People with mumps are considered infectious from two days before swelling begins through five days after the start of swelling.

Symptoms:
· influenza-like/cold-like illness
· tender swollen glands below the ear and along the jawline on one or both sides of the face and neck
· headache
· fever
· muscle aches
· fatigue
· loss of appetite
· testicular swelling
· pelvic pain

For students exhibiting the above symptoms, contact Student Health Services at 843.953.5520 or a personal physician. During non-business and weekend hours for Student Health Services, please visit a local medical facility or contact the College of Charleston’s Public Safety Office at 843.953.5609 for assistance accessing medical care. However, as always, if you are having a medical emergency, please call 911. And, at all times, residential students may also go to their residence hall front-desk for assistance.

For all students, faculty and staff, if you have active symptoms, self-isolate by staying home from school, work and social gatherings until the contagious period passes, which is five days after the start of parotid gland swelling (i.e., puffy cheeks). Avoid travel and limit contact with others for five days from the onset of symptoms.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
There is no specific treatment for mumps – only relief of symptoms. Take Motrin or Tylenol for fever and swelling, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. For healthy people, there is very little risk of serious complications from the mumps. If you are immunocompromised or pregnant, please contact your primary care physician to discuss your case.

The following precautions against mumps are advised:
· Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; use your upper sleeve to cover your cough, not your hand.
· Wash hands frequently and efficiently. When unable to wash with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· Avoid sharing food and drinks or participating in other activities that may result in saliva exposure.
· Stay home from school or work when you are sick to rest and limit the spread of illness to others. Self-isolation after the onset of symptoms remains one of the most critical steps a symptomatic individual can take toward recovery and limiting the spread of mumps.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
For additional information, please review the following resources:
· South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control 
· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mumps: Questions and Answers
· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mumps Information

The College will continue to update and educate the campus community on a weekly basis, treat anyone who presents with symptoms and identify individuals who have been in close contact with symptomatic individuals and recommend they receive the MMR vaccine if they are not vaccinated or under vaccinated (received only one MMR dose).

Students who have questions or who are experiencing symptoms, you are encouraged to contact the College’s Student Health Services at 843.953.5520.

Sincerely,
CofC Emergency Management Team