Student Health Notification

Southeast Missouri State University has received two unconfirmed reports of Southeast students infected with mumps. Both students have left the campus and returned home to self-quarantine. If and when these cases are confirmed, University officials will assist the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center to identify and contact those who may have come in contact with the infected students.

The unconfirmed cases on Southeast’s campus come as Southeast’s fall 2016 semester and final exam week ended Dec. 16 and on the heels of a mumps outbreak on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia reported this fall. At the University of Missouri-Columbia, 193 laboratory-confirmed cases were identified as of Dec. 7. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the majority of cases continue to be reported among university students, but new cases epidemiologically linked to the outbreak are now beginning to occur in persons outside of the university setting. An outbreak of mumps has also been reported in Northwest Arkansas and there are reported cases in several other states.

Mumps is an acute viral infection caused by the mumps virus and is transmitted from person to person through direct contact with respiratory secretions or saliva or indirectly through infected objects. The average incubation period for mumps is 16 to 18 days, with a range of 12 to 25 days.

Symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the salivary glands under the ears
  • Body aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Low grade fever
  • Painful, swollen testicles (men)
  • Painful swollen breasts and inflammation of the ovaries (women)

Prevention:

  • Avoid contact with others if you have the mumps
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Avoid sharing drinks, eating utensils and mobile phones
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces (mobile phones, doorknobs, tables, counters)

As Southeast Missouri State University begins its winter break, University officials are recommending that students concerned about their exposure to mumps to review their immunization record. A student who has had two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine in the past does not need a third. The CDC does not recommend a third vaccination of MMR for people outside of areas where a mumps outbreak has been declared. If a student is unsure of his or her vaccination status or has not had two doses of the MMR vaccine, he or she should speak with their healthcare provider about getting additional MMR vaccine(s) before returning to campus in January. Students also may contact the Campus Health Clinic at (573) 651-2270 to schedule an appointment for the vaccine. Campus Health Clinic hours during the winter break are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 20-22, and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday Jan. 3-13.

Any student diagnosed with mumps during the holiday break is asked to contact Dr. Bruce Skinner, assistant vice president for student success and auxiliary services, at (573) 651-5103 or healthservices@semo.edu, as Southeast continues to monitor this situation and works to prevent or minimize additional cases. As more information becomes available, it will be shared at semo.edu/healthclinic.

For more information, visit the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services at health.mo.gov/emergencies/ert/alertsadvisories/pdf/advisory111816.pdf.