The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services this week updated its recommendation and is encouraging all Southeast Missouri State University students to consider getting a third dose of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine in response to continued confirmed and suspected cases of Mumps at Southeast.
Because the majority of those cases are within the fraternity and sorority community, the Cape Girardeau Public Health Center, with assistance from the Campus Health Clinic, will host a vaccination clinic for all members of the Greek Community – including those living on- and off-campus — from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, in the Towers Complex, second floor. This vaccination clinic is specifically for members of Southeast’s Greek community, who health officials say have the greatest known risk factors and where the confirmed Mumps cases are most concentrated.
Students should bring their University ID and a copy of their insurance card/information for registration and the vaccination process.
Students who are not members of the fraternity or sorority community, can get a third MMR dose by visiting the Campus Health Clinic from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, March 9, and Friday, March 10, when additional staff will be present to assist with vaccinations. Students who are not part of the Greek community have a lower risk of contracting Mumps based upon currently confirmed and suspected cases, county health officials say. These students should bring their University ID and a copy of their insurance card/information for registration and the vaccination process.
Health officials encourage students who do not have insurance to also visit the vaccination clinics where healthcare staff will be available to assist them.
Students may also contact their physician or health care provider to secure the vaccination.
In addition, students may visit the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, 1121 Linden in Cape Girardeau, from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday for an MMR vaccination. Students should bring their University ID and a copy of their insurance card/information for registration and the vaccination process. The Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center also serves and will vaccinate those who are uninsured or underinsured.
Southeast is urging all students to participate in the immunization clinics before spring break, which begins at the close of classes March 10.
The third MMR vaccination recommendation comes as Southeast now has 15 confirmed reports of students infected with Mumps, up from eight cases on Feb. 17. The updated recommendation is based on guidance from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has identified continued transmission of the virus and continued spreading of the infection within close-knit groups as factors for an additional vaccination. While the third MMR does not guarantee immunity from the Mumps virus, it lessens the severity of the symptoms and complications from Mumps, according to state health officials.
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. Persons are most at risk in large gatherings inside a small area, such as house parties, or through prolonged close contact with others.
The University is asking students who suspect they may be infected with Mumps to immediately self-quarantine and see a healthcare provider for evaluation.
For more information on the immunization clinic, contact the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center at (573) 335-7846. For more information on symptoms associated with Mumps, prevention tips and links to resources, including the Campus Health Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control, visit semo.edu/mumps.