UPDATE: Mumps cases reported at UW-Madison - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Mumps cases reported at UW-Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Mumps cases are on the rise on the UW-Madison campus and health officials are on high alert to keep the disease from spreading.

According to University Health Services (UHS), five mumps cases are confirmed among students on campus since mid-March. Two of those were confirmed this week.

UHS Executive Director Dr. Sarah Van Orman says people with mumps don't always know they have it because the symptoms can be similar to that of the flu: headache, fever, sore throat and body ache. The most familiar sign is swollen glands, but that doesn't always happen.

The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine has made cases of mumps pretty rare. The Centers for Disease Control says in 1967 about 186,000 cases were reported every year. Now, a few hundred people in the U.S. are confirmed to have the disease each year.

Van Orman says about 90 percent of students at UW are vaccinated against mumps, but the immunization is only about 80 percent effective.

While only five students are confirmed to have mumps, it's a concern because of how quickly the illness can spread in close quarters like dorms and classrooms.

"If we have enough people in a large population who are all gathered close together and we have a certain number of people who didn't get full protection from the vaccine combined with people who didn't get the vaccine, we have enough people that the virus can start to spread though the community," Van Orman tells 27 News.

That's been seen in an outbreak on the Ohio State University campus in recent weeks. As of Monday, OSU has dealt with 132 confirmed cases on campus and the disease has recently spread to the greater central Ohio community for a total of 212 cases. Health officials there say those infected are between 9 months and 70-years-old.

Cases date back to January and health officials are working to find where it started.

"We ask [the patients] a number of questions from travel history, vaccine history, to the onset of the symptoms, who they might have been in touch with during that time, they could have been contagious," says Dr. Mykeisha Roberts, from the Columbus Health Department in Ohio.

Wisconsin has experience with an outbreak too. In 2006, 177 cases of mumps were confirmed across the state. In just a week's time, 36 reported cases climbed to 102.

This week, Public Health Madison-Dane County is reporting five non-student cases, with several more still waiting on a firm diagnosis. Patients in those cases all range in age between 18 to 28-years-old.

Van Orman says UHS is working to prevent that from happening again. She says everyone should check their immunization records and get the MMR vaccine if you haven't already. It doesn't need a booster, the two doses early in life are enough.

Plus, take every precaution you would during flu season.

"Good hygiene," Van Orman says. "Wash your hands, cover your cough, those things really matter for this, too."

UW sent an email Tuesday to all students alerting them about the mumps cases on campus. Health officials say it's important to visit the doctor if you think you might have mumps. Anyone diagnosed should stay away from others for about 5-7 days.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Cases of mumps are increasing on the UW-Madison campus.

University Health Services on campus is reporting five students have been identified to have the contagious illness. Most people who have the mumps vaccine are usually protected for life, but some may still be at risk.

Students are encouraged to check their immunization records to be sure they've had the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and to take precautions to avoid getting the illness, which comes with flu-like symptoms but can be more serious.

Cases of mumps have reached an outbreak on the Ohio State University campus. 132 have been reported on campus, more than 200 confirmed throughout the central Ohio area.

Tonight on 27 News at 5 & 6, how UW health officials are working to prevent an outbreak here in Madison.

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