Over 100 University of Iowa students have tested positive for the mumps. Health officials are recommending that UI students younger than 25, who are at the highest risk for mumps, receive a free third dose of the MMR vaccine. It’s an effort to help protect students from mumps and its complications, and to reduce the spread of the infection—not only on campus, but across the state and outside Iowa since Thanksgiving break is fast approaching.
If students are under the age of 25, they can come to one of the free clinics listed on the Student Health & Wellness website.
Immunity from the mumps vaccines (that most students received prior to starting kindergarten) has waned, and needs to be boosted. Students living in close quarters such as dorms, apartments, fraternities and sororities, and students who participate in group activities like athletics, band, and social events in particular should receive a third MMR dose.
Any UI students who have not yet received at least two doses of the MMR vaccine should do so immediately.
The symptoms of mumps include:
- Sore throat
- Jaw pain
- Swelling in the salivary (parotid) glands
The mumps virus is spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets or by direct contact with items that have been contaminated with infected saliva.
The period of contagiousness for the disease starts before the jaw swelling and lasts for five days after swelling begins. If students become ill with the symptoms listed above, they should stay home and away from others and wash their hands frequently. Then, they can call the SHW Nurseline at 319-335-9704 to get guidance on the best actions to take for their health and the health of fellow students.