No mumps cases officially reported

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 5/5/16 5:40pm

In a campus-wide email yesterday, health service director Mark Reed announced that while the College currently has no confirmed cases of mumps, multiple students have exhibited symptoms consistent with the illness. These students have undergone State Public Health Department testing, and are currently in self-isolation. The department requires at least five days of isolation for patients diagnosed with mumps.

Common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and tender salivary glands under the ears. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection. The virus itself spreads through infected saliva. Best practices for preventing transmission include frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizer and proper cough etiquette. The CDC states that vaccines are good at preventing mumps — with prevention rates of 88 percent after two doses — but they are not fully effective. According to the campus wide email, students will also be able to contact nursing staff and Primary Care Preventive Medicine staff for “wellness checks” as needed.

On April 29, Harvard University health services director Paul Barreira said that there had been 45 confirmed cases of mumps at the University. Additionally, other people presented with “definite clinical signs of mumps.” The number of cases at Harvard has been growing since late February, when the first two cases of mumps were confirmed. In his email, Reed alluded toward the connections between the Dartmouth and Harvard communities as potential vectors for the spread of mumps.