Temple tries to prevent another mumps outbreak after 3 new cases confirmed

Paul Kurtz
February 21, 2020 - 2:11 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Following last spring’s on-campus outbreak, more cases of the mumps have been reported among Temple University students.

The university said at least three students came down with the viral disease, though they are no longer ill. The question remains, however: Did they contaminate others?

Spokesman Ray Betzner said the university is trying to get ahead of a potential outbreak by getting the word out now.

“We sent an email out to every student, faculty and staff member here at Temple with that information in it,” he said, “but especially linking back to an FAQ that gives them good information on how to stay healthy.”

Last year, a mumps outbreak at Temple sickened more than 170 people. Betzner hopes the lessons learned from that experience will prevent a similar outcome. 

“One of the things that we learned last year was that because the mumps have been largely eradicated, people don't have a lot of information about them. That’s the reason an information campaign is so important,” he added.

Temple also implemented a new policy at the start of the school year, requiring students to provide proof that they received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The symptoms of the mumps are similar to the flu: headache, fever, runny nose. But unlike the flu, people with the mumps have to deal with painful swollen glands along the jawline and below the ear. The incubation period is 12 to 25 days.

Students with these symptoms are urged to visit campus health and get tested.