An outbreak of the mumps across the country is reflected in cases reported at the University of Missouri.
As of Wednesday, the school had experienced 128 instances so far this semester, with the first four reported in early November.
As a result, the university has cancelled a popular late night breakfast during finals week, and is urging student groups to postpone their social events.
MU spokesperson Christian Basi says the school shouldn’t be singled out for having an excessive number of cases. “This is something that has been a situation across the country” said Basi. “The CDC has reported that the country has more than twice the number of mumps cases this so far this year than compared to all of last year. And we still have a month to go.”
While there have been 128 mumps cases at MU, only six entire states have reported as many as 100 so far this year. However, the numbers from those states were compiled in early November, roughly the time that MU had reported only four cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year’s outbreak of the mumps is the biggest since 2006.
While admitting the university has an outbreak, MU’s Basi says the school has a strict policy toward vaccinations. “Out of more than 33,200 students, only 50 students have submitted the paperwork to enroll while not having those vaccinations.” Basi claims all the students who’ve been diagnosed with the mumps have had the vaccination.
Basi further claims the 128 cases reported at the school is misleading because the mumps typically runs its course in a week-and-a-half. “It’s important to remember that that number is the total number of students that have contracted the disease” said Basi. “Many of those students who have contracted the disease have already recovered and are back in classes.”
MU isn’t the only college campus to experience an outbreak of the mumps. Flare-ups have also been at reported at Yale and Tufts universities, although their numbers may not be as large as Mizzou’s.
Nationally, the CDC has reported 2,879 mumps infections as of November 5th. Of the six states which had reported over 100 case at that time, four sit adjacent to Missouri – Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma and Illinois. The other two are Indiana and Massachusetts.
Although a major concern at places like MU’s Columbia campus, this year’s mumps outbreak nationally pales in comparison to the eruption in 2006 when well over 6,500 cases were reported.
Mumps is a viral infection that is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes. It’s the result of swollen salivary glands