By KELLY KULTYS
Before Feb. 17, only one student at Fordham University reported having the mumps infection. As of Feb. 21, the number is now up to eight.
Mumps, a viral infection, causes fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and its most signature feature, swollen and/or tender glands located underneath the ears, jaw or the side of the face.
According to the alert sent to students from the health center, the infection “is spread from person to person through contact with respiratory secretions, e.g., saliva and sneeze droplets, from an infected person.”
University Health Services states “all the students with suspected mumps infections have either returned home or have been isolated from other residents during the infection phase of the illness.”
So far, there does not seem to be a pattern among the students, except for the fact that all eight attend the Rose Hill campus.
Mumps have not been an issue in recent months in this area, with one of the most recently documented cases occurring last in Sept. 2013 in New Jersey. According to ABCNews, 21 people were infected after spending time at a bar and grill in Belmar.
The vaccination has helped cut down outbreaks in recent years, but not for these students. All eight were vaccinated, but Health Services says “vaccinations do not offer 100 percent protection.”
Health Services officials advise students and faculty “to wash their hands regularly with soap and water, and to clean tables, counters, doorknobs, etc., to prevent the spread of the virus.”
If anyone has come into contact with items of an infected student, such as silverware or cups, officials warn these may be contaminated as well.
More information will be provided soon.
Kelly Kultys is the editor-in-chief of The Fordham Ram. You can follow her on Twitter @kellykultys.