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There has been a large mumps outbreak affecting mainly college-age students, which started in Iowa in December 2005 and subsequently affected at least 11 other states. As of early May 2006, more than 2500 cases of mumps have been reported. Transmission has been widespread in college-age students for reasons that may include social interactions, living environment and local and interstate travel.
Mumps is a viral infection of the salivary glands spread by saliva contact and airborne respiratory droplets. Symptoms may include fever, headache, and tender or swollen salivary glands. Mumps infections are not generally serious, but can be complicated by encephalitis, meningitis, testicular, ovarian inflammation or permanent deafness.
The most effective way to protect college students from mumps is to ensure that all students have received two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) or have other evidence of immunity (i.e. laboratory evidence of immunity, or birth before 1957). The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) made a recent change requiring that presumptive evidence of mumps immunity through vaccination for college students be two doses, rather than one dose of live mumps vaccine.
The Immunization Policy for Frostburg State University does require 2 doses of MMR vaccine on or after the first birthday and at least 28 days apart for both measles and mumps immunity. A measles or mumps antibody titer showing proof of immunity can also be utilized.
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