STOCKTON (CBS13) — Concerns and questions are swirling after health officials confirmed an outbreak of the mumps at the University of the Pacific on Friday.
The last time San Joaquin County saw a case was in 2011, but now two students are confirmed to have the mumps, while seven more have symptoms and are being monitored by health officials.
Students were alerted to the outbreak with an early-morning email.
“It was kind of weird because you don’t really hear about the mumps on campus or in the United States all that much,” said sophomore Hannah White-Dobbs.
The outbreak appears to stem from a student who traveled to an out-of-state conference in mid-February. Officials at the school say the students affected are in the physical therapy and pharmacy programs and have been asked to avoid going to class or work if their symptoms flare up.
“It starts very non-specific, with a fever and feeling tired and run down,” said Julie Vaischampayn with San Joaquin County Public Health Services,” and then in most people you get swelling in the glands that produce saliva in your mouth.”
There’s no clear source of the outbreak, but health officials know there is often a faded immunity to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Combine that with the close proximity of a densely populated college campus and they believe it creates the perfect breeding ground.
“We want to make sure that people are engaged in hand washing, not sharing drinks, those kinds of things, because college campuses are where this kind of thing can absolutely move and we want to make sure it doesn’t,” said vice president of student life Patrick Day.