The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

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The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

The Tack Online

The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

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Mumps at U of Iowa brings concern for BVU

Mumps+at+U+of+Iowa+brings+concern+for+BVU

Kendall Hazel | Staff Writer

Several reported cases of mumps at the University of Iowa have led to concern among other colleges and universities in the state. According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, roughly thirty students have been diagnosed with mumps.

Mumps is a viral disease that results in swelling of the salivary glands. The disease is highly contagious and the virus is present in saliva and mucus within the mouth, nose, and throat. The disease can be spread through most forms of contact; kissing, sneezing, coughing, and talking are all avenues for the virus to spread to others. Mumps is of major concern on college campuses due to the amount of time students spend in close proximity.

Due to the highly contagious nature of mumps, University of Iowa Vice President Tom Rocklin encouraged students to get two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine in early October. When there are cases of mumps on college campuses, national criteria determine if a third dose of the MMR vaccine is necessary. U of Iowa recently met that criteria, and the third dose of the vaccine is being recommended for all students.

The MMR vaccine is already required at Buena Vista University, according to Director of Health Services and Wellness Tami Laursen. An all campus e-mail sent by Laursen stated people with two doses of MMR are very well protected from the disease, but prolonged contact with an infected person can lead to infection.

Thanksgiving break brought many students home from college campuses including U of Iowa and BVU. In response, BVU
Health Services and Wellness offered information on how to avoid and identify the disease.

Identifying symptoms early is the key to getting help and stopping the spread of the disease. Symptoms for mumps include fever, headaches, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swelling of the salivary glands.

“If someone thinks they might have mumps, they should call health services. If they have the symptoms, we would send them for testing and confirmation of mumps. They would be isolated,” Laursen said.

No cases of mumps have been recorded at BVU this year, and according to Laursen, there have not been any cases of mumps for several years.

“We have never had mumps on our campus, and I have worked here 18 years,” Laursen said.

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