Mumps outbreak at Temple bumps up to at least 17 cases

Paul Kurtz
March 06, 2019 - 2:23 pm
Vials of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A mumps outbreak at Temple University is getting worse.

The number of mumps-related cases has jumped from 11 to 17 over the past few days, according to Mark Denys, director of Student and Employee Health Services.

"There are seven that have been confirmed in our office, one that's been confirmed at an outside hospital," he said. "There are seven probable cases and two that are still under investigation. They're not ready to call them probable cases yet."

Denys expects to see even more cases.

"Hopefully it does start to slow down a little bit, but there are probably some cases out there that we don't know about," he noted. "With it being spring break, students have gone home so they are being diagnosed at places even outside of Pennsylvania."

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The symptoms of mumps are similar to the flu.

"Fever, chills, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite," Denys explained. "But the real tell-tale symptom for the mumps is swelling of the salivary glands around the jaw. So that swelling is what really differentiates the mumps from influenza."

Plenty of rest, fluids and pain relievers are about all you can do treat the symptoms. But he said it's really important for patients to isolate themselves for about five days.

"Avoid contact with other people," said Denys. "Try to stay away from large groups as best as you can. If you can, stay in your room. If you do have to have close contact, wear a mask."

Denys said it's unclear how the mumps outbreak began. 

For more information on health and student safety at Temple, click here.