Two Students who Contracted Mumps Recovered

By Shelby Evans

Razorback Reporter

The Arkansas Department of Health Tuesday reported two confirmed cases of the mumps involving UA students. Neither student has the mumps any more but the UA community should remain cautious, said the assistant director of communications for Pat Walker Health Center.

“On Tuesday, we were informed by the ADH of two confirmed cases of mumps involving two university students,” Zac Brown, assistant director of communications for Pat Walker Health Center, said in an email. “Immediately following, health center officials held a conference call with members of the health department to discuss recommendations and next steps. It was then we informed other members of the university and the community.”

One of the students went to the health center before Thanksgiving break and based on symptoms, health center officials conducted tests and sent the samples in for evaluation. The other case was confirmed through the state health department, Brown said. Both of the students have made a full recovery, are no longer contagious and have been approved to return to class.

The ADH is investigating 1,652 cases of the mumps in the state, according to the department website.

The viral disease does not appear to be on campus but notified students who may have been exposed through a class with “specific information about what to be on the lookout for and what to do if they start to experience symptoms,” Brown said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every person has two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, and if anyone has not received their first or second dose, they can contact the Allergy, Immunization and Traveler Clinic, Brown said.

“We encourage everyone to make sure they have received the CDC recommend two doses of the MMR vaccine,” Brown said.

People who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine are 88 percent less likely to contract the mumps, according to the CDC.

The best way to prevent the spread of the mumps is to practice good respiratory hygiene, Brown said.

“Even though transmission does not appear to be on campus, we want the entire campus community to be aware of potential symptoms and what to do should they have them,” Brown said. “If you do experience any symptoms, it is important you isolate yourself from others and call the health center at 479.575.4451.”

A version of this article appeared in the Arkansas Traveler