One case of mumps identified on Western Illinois University Macomb campus

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Mumps cases reported to CDC as of March 25, 2017

MACOMB, Illinois — University and local health officials have confirmed at least one case of mumps on the campus of Western Illinois University and are urging students, faculty and other community members to take precautions to prevent the further spread of the illness.

A student was diagnosed last week at the Beu Health Center and returned home for a required five-day isolation period following the onset of symptoms.

Students who have any symptoms of the mumps should isolate themselves and contact Beu Health Center immediately by calling (309) 298-1888.

“Please do not come directly to the health center without calling,” said John Smith, director of the Beu Health Center. “If you have mumps symptoms we need to take precautions during your visit so that we do not infect other patients using the health center.”

If a diagnosis for mumps is made, the student will be encouraged to return home. If that is not an option, the university has quarantine facilities available, Smith added.

The mumps virus spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, kissing or talking; sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils; and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands.

The following precautions can be taken to prevent the spread of mumps:

  • Make sure your MMR vaccine is up-to-date. If you are unsure if you received two doses of the MMR vaccine, get vaccinated.
  • Wash your hands well and often with soap and water.
  • Do not share eating utensils and beverages with others.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces with soap and water.
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.

Initial symptoms of mumps include:

  • Muscle ache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Generalized discomfort
  • Headache
  • Low-grade fever

These minor symptoms can progress to swelling in one or both of your salivary glands and pain and tenderness along the jaw. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.