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Important Health Update - April 2019

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I write with an update regarding my message from Wednesday, April 17.  The Department of Health has identified suspected mumps in the student. The student is doing well.

We are working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers for Disease Detection in risk surveillance and response. The immunization status of close contacts identified by the Department of Health has been reviewed and appropriate action has been taken.

Mumps is a contagious viral illness. It is transmitted by respiratory droplets or saliva. Signs and symptoms of mumps, include:

  • Flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, and muscle aches;
  • Tiredness;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Followed by swollen salivary glands near the ears and jawline.

Students who experience any of these symptoms or have concerns should immediately contact the Worth Health and Wellness Center at 610-328-8058 during regular business hours or the after-hours on-call nurse at 610-328-8548. Students should also begin isolating themselves for at least five days after the onset of swollen salivary glands.

While many members of our community are vaccinated for mumps, outbreaks can still occur in highly vaccinated communities, particularly in close-contact settings such as colleges.

Community members who are not immunized or have not completed the mumps vaccine series [two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR)] should  discuss their history of vaccines with their healthcare provider.

The best way to prevent the spread of mumps is proper hygiene techniques, similar to those to prevent the flu: We ask that you remember these smart health tips recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Cover your mouth when you cough and nose when you sneeze;
  • Wash your hands often and effectively;
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups;
  • Stay home when you are sick

More information about mumps is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/outbreaks.html.

We remain committed to your wellbeing and to keeping you informed. We will continue to provide updates if there are new developments.

Sincerely,

Alice Holland