Marquette officials issue health alert following case of mumps virus

MILWAUKEE -- Marquette University has issued a health warning after a student contracted the mumps virus.  Marquette University officials say one student, who lives off campus is sick.  They are asking everyone to check for symptoms of mumps, including flu-like symptoms and swollen glands.

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by the mumps virus. Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, and is followed by swelling of salivary glands. Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.

Before the routine vaccination program was introduced in the United States, mumps was a common illness in infants, children and young adults. Because most people have now been vaccinated, mumps has become a rare disease in the United States. Doctors say while the vaccine is very god, it's not perfect. Doctors say even those with a vaccine could be susceptible to mumps should they come into contact with an infected individual.

"Mumps is a potentially serious viral infection of the salivary glands. Once in awhile it causes some very serious and worrisome side effects," Dr. Geoffrey Swain with the City of Milwaukee Health Department said.

Marquette officials are asking anyone who may have been in the Union Sports Annex last Tuesday, September 4th between 3:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. to be extra vigilant.

Dr. Swain says it may take awhile to see symptoms.

"People are infectious with mumps for up to a week before the symptoms start, and then remain infectious for about nine days after their symptoms start," Swain said.

Students on campus say they feel confident this will remain an isolated incident.

"Marquette knows how to take care of it," Paul Dang said.

"My mom is a nurse and she assured me it's not a big deal -- nothing too crazy," Ian Chadwick said.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for mumps. Supportive care should be given as needed. If someone becomes very ill, they should seek medical attention. If someone seeks medical attention, they should call their doctor in advance so that they don't have to sit in the waiting room for a long time and possibly infect other patients.

CLICK HERE for additional information on mumps via the CDC website.

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