A mumps outbreak that started in February at Ohio State University has spread beyond campus.
In Franklin County, 63 people ages 4 to 55 have been sickened, Columbus Public Health officials said this afternoon. Of those, 45 have been students and others closely linked to the university.
Health officials are urging those who have not received a full two-round vaccination against mumps to seek the vaccine. Mumps protection is included in the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) shot that is recommended twice during childhood — once on or after the first birthday and once at ages 4 to 6.
Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person can also be contaminated.
Mumps symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands.
Mumps usually spreads before the salivary glands begin to swell and within five days after swelling starts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that mumps patients stay isolated for five days after their glands begin to swell. Other steps to stop transmission include covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and frequent hand washing.
Not everyone carrying the mumps virus will experience symptoms.
By Misti Crane - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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