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VCU alerts students, faculty about mumps cases

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond City Health District (RCHD) is investigating one laboratory-confirmed and one suspect case of mumps within the VCU community. Officials said there are no clear connections between the cases.

Mumps is an acute viral infection transmitted person-to-person by coughing, sneezing or through direct contact with saliva.

Doctors said an infected person will develop symptoms 12 to 25 days after exposure. Common symptoms include body aches, fever, loss of appetite and swelling in the jaw or cheek area. Men may develop testicular swelling.

A statement was sent out to VCU students warning them about the infection, though many students on campus said they were unaware of the news yet.

The RCHD strongly encourages all students and faculty to review their immunization status and ensure that they have received two doses of a mumps vaccine, commonly referred to as an MMR or MMRV vaccine.

This vaccine is 88% effective after getting two doses. Although it is still possible to contract mumps with vaccinations, it`s still the most effective way to prevent mumps infection.

Students can check their immunization status through the secure web portal which can be accessed at:  https://students.vcu.edu/health/web-portal/. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider regarding their immunization status. Anyone who is unsure of their vaccination status or previous history of illness should consider being vaccinated.

RCHD is working closely with VCU’s Student Health Services and we will continue to work with the VCU community to prevent further mumps infections.  Please contact Student Health Services with any questions or concerns at (804) 828-8828. Faculty and staff may contact Employee Health Services at (804) 828-0584.

More information on mumps and signs and symptoms of infection with mumps can be found at the CDC.