Latest update on mumps cases

To the Temple University community:
I would like to share with you the most up-to-date health information. Seven new mumps cases emerged last week—by far the lowest total since the start of the outbreak more than seven weeks ago. This continues a decline in recent cases of mumps reported to our office over the last several weeks.
At present, we are aware of fewer than 10 active cases of mumps at Temple University.

Onset of symptoms (by week, through April 13)

Number of cases (including non-students and staff)

Feb. 24–March 2


March 3–9


March 10–16


March 17–23


March 24–30


March 31–April 6


April 7–13


Temple University’s Student and Employee Health Services, as of last week, has issued more than 6,000 doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Local pharmacies and urgent-care centers likely have administered a significant number of vaccine doses as well.
The aforementioned figures are encouraging. They demonstrate the university’s actions to control the spread of mumps are working. Nonetheless, the health and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff remain our top priority. Temple Student and Employee Health Services will continue to make doses of the MMR vaccine available at no charge to members of our university community.

To schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine, students (215-204-7500) and employees (215-204-2679) are encouraged to call Temple Student and Employee Health Services.

My sincerest thanks belong with the staff of Student and Employee Health Services, the Office of Emergency Management, and all who have helped throughout this effort. Also, we are grateful for the ongoing work and counsel from Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health (PDPH), whose partnership has been invaluable.
While we are encouraged by the trends, it remains important to be aware of the symptoms and take steps to keep you and others healthy. The university has created a regularly updated FAQ as an additional resource.

Mumps is a highly infectious disease passed through saliva and respiratory secretions. While the incubation period ranges from 12 to 25 days, symptoms often appear 16 to 18 days after exposure.

The symptoms for 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 or

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 with 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 with the mumps, and have previously received the MMR vaccine, the recommendation is to receive a third booster dose of the vaccine. 
If you are immunocompromised or pregnant, please contact your doctor immediately.
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. Self-isolation after the onset of symptoms remains one of the most critical steps a symptomatic individual can take toward recovery and limiting the spread of mumps.

For additional information, please review the following resources.

The university will continue to update and educate the campus community; treat anyone who presents symptoms; and identify individuals who have been in close contact with symptomatic individuals and recommend they receive the MMR vaccine.
Additionally, the university has taken steps toward updating 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, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.

If you have questions or are experiencing symptoms, you are encouraged to contact Temple Student and Employee Health Services at either or

Mark Denys, MHA, BS, RN
Student and Employee Health Services