The mumps outbreak that started at Ohio State University in February and spread beyond campus this week has now sickened at least 103 people from 4 to 58 years old, including 22 who live in Franklin County and have no direct ties to the school.
Of the 81 cases linked to the university, four are confirmed outside Franklin County — one each in Fairfield, Licking, Union and Hamilton counties. Sixty-six cases are among students, nine are among staff members, one involves a student’s family member and five cases in the community have links to Ohio State.
The last Ohio mumps outbreak was in 2010, when 18 cases were reported in Lake and Cuyahoga counties.
Mumps is rarely seen in the United States because of widespread vaccination that began in 1967. But cases and outbreaks do pop up and are sometimes found in groups with low immunization rates.
Officials don't know who started this outbreak, whether that person was vaccinated and whether those infected had limited protection.
The university is working with the city to provide vaccine to students who were not vaccinated at all or who never received a booster shot.
Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person also can be contaminated. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, appetite loss, and swollen and tender salivary glands.
Mumps usually spreads before the salivary glands begin to swell and up to five days after swelling starts.
Four people have been hospitalized.
By Mark Somerson - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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