U of Illinois Mumps Outbreak Grows; Vaccinations Urged
The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging University of Illinois students to get vaccinated to help curb a growing mumps outbreak. The department said in a news release Tuesday that 69 cases have been reported on the Urbana-Champaign campus and new infections continue to be seen.
A week earlier about 50 cases were known. The department knows of 18 other cases around the state.
Director Nirav Shah says most of the infected people have received two rounds of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine but believes a third round could help control the outbreak.
"This is way it is important for those who can be vaccinated, to take this extra step and potentially help protect those around them," he said.
University faculty and staff born after 1956 may also choose to receive a booster MMR vaccination, but should first check with a medical provider.
A health department spokeswoman says so far in 2015 there have been 69 mumps cases reported at U of I - which is almost 80 percent of all cases statewide.
The U of I's McKinley Health Center recommends that students planning to take classes this fall get a vaccine booster. Classes begin Aug. 24. For those on campus now, McKinley is operating a two day special MMR vaccine clinic for students. It’s at the ARC building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness characterized by swollen jaws and puffy cheeks.