Transcript for Mumps Outbreak at Harvard University
We move on to a mumps outbreak at Harvard. 41 cases have been confirmed even though many of those have been vaccinated. Linsey Davis has the latest from Boston. It really has the campus on edge. Reporter: Yes, good morning. Students on campus are telling us they are being extra cautious, no longer sharing food and drink, college campuses are the perfect storm for outbreaks like this because the students are in such close contact. The number of mumps cases at Harvard university this morning is now up to 41. 11 of those students are currently in self-isolation. Harvard health services director Paul bcarreira says I'm more concerned now than I was during any time of the outbreak. I've had a lot of friends that have it. Reporter: The first case reported two months ago, all the stu students affected had been immunized against mumps. Even after two doses of the vaccine, 12% of people are still at risk for contracting the virus according to the CDC. Mumps is spread in crowded environments by droplets of saliva from coughing, sneezing, shared eating utensils and kissing. Symptoms include puffy cheeks or jaw, fever, headache, muscle ache and fatigue. We heard it's very contagious and there are a lot of people around us that have it so we're a little scared. Reporter: It's shown up on four nearby campuses in the Boston area. Another 53 cases at two universities in Indiana and several cases in California. Harvard's graduation is just four weeks away, students who are sick are being advised not to attend. Mumps can be serious but most people tend to make a full recovery in just a few weeks. Amy. All right, linsey, thanks so much. We have ABC news chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser here and we just heard linsey say most people make a full recovery but there is concern for adults who contract mumps, yes? That's right. Most people who get it, it is a typical viral illness with fever, body aches, fatigue and that telltale sign of mumps, the swells of the face. After puberty there is a risk for complication, inflammation of the testes and ovary, hearing loss that can be permanent and even inflammation of the brain. In terms of how this virus is spreading and who it may spread to, who is most at risk. It's prolonged direct contact so people who are sharing a room with someone with mumps, they're at risk from sharing utensils and cups and from kissing. In the greater community they tend not to see spread. But it's a good time for people to remember that two doses of the measles, much, rubella vaccine will decrease the chances that you're ever going to get mumps. Vaccinations do help. Dr. Besser, thanks so much.
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