To the Temple University community:
I would like to provide another health update. At present, 11 Temple students have tested positive for mumps and 17 are listed as probable.
Temple Student Health Services (SHS) has been in contact daily with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) since the onset of the situation.
The steps Temple University has taken and will continue to take include:
- updating and educating the campus community;
- treating and educating anyone who presents symptoms; and
- identifying individuals who have been in close contact with symptomatic individuals and recommending that they receive the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Additionally, the university is taking steps to update its immunization policy for prematriculation to require the following:
- two doses—Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine;
- two doses—Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine; and
- one dose within 10 years—Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.
It is important for community members to be aware of the symptoms and take steps to keep you and others healthy.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Mumps is a highly infectious disease passed through saliva and respiratory secretions. While the incubation period is 12 to 25 days, symptoms often appear 16 to 18 days after exposure.
The symptoms for the mumps are similar to influenza (the flu) and often include tender swollen glands below the ear and along the jawline on one or both sides of the face and neck, headache, fever and cold-like symptoms. People with mumps are considered infectious from two days before swelling begins through five days after the start of swelling.
If you are experiencing symptoms or have questions, please contact StudentHealth@temple.edu.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Overall management for mumps is similar to that of chicken pox. There is no treatment, only relief of symptoms. Take Motrin or Tylenol for fever and swelling, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. One of the most important steps you can take if you experience symptoms is to self-isolate, avoid travel and limit contact with others for five days from the onset of symptoms. For healthy people, there is very little risk of serious complications from the mumps.
If you have had close contact with someone symptomatic for the mumps, and have never received the MMR vaccine, the recommendation is to receive the full two-dose MMR series.
If you have had close contact with someone symptomatic for the mumps, and have previously received the MMR vaccine, the recommendation is to receive a third booster dose of the vaccine. The third booster dose is not recommended unless you have had close contact with a symptomatic person.
If you are immunocompromised or pregnant, please contact your doctor immediately.
For those who wish to receive the MMR vaccine, it is available at Temple SHS. You are encouraged to call 215-204-7500 to discuss treatment options and options regarding the vaccine. Primary care physicians and urgent care clinics also typically stock the vaccine.
The following precautions against mumps and flu are advised.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; use your upper sleeve to cover your cough, not your hand.
- Wash hands frequently and efficiently. When unable to wash with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid sharing food and drinks or participating in other activities that may result in saliva exposure.
- Stay home from school or work when you are sick to rest and limit the spread of illness to others.
For additional information, please review the following resources.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mumps: Questions and Answers
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mumps Information
As mentioned, we have been in regular contact with PDPH and will share additional updates as necessary.
If you have questions or are experiencing symptoms, you are encouraged to contact Temple University Student Health Services at StudentHealth@temple.edu.
Mark Denys, MHA, BS, RN
Director Student and Employee Health Services