Health officials confirmed three cases of mumps at Pennsylvania State University's University Park campus, Penn State News reported.
"Students who have developed mumps symptoms have been isolated in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pennsylvania Department of Health protocols and recommendations," the Penn State News statement read, adding that Penn State Health Services staff are working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to identify any other students who may have come in contact with them.
These are not the first cases of mumps on Pennsylvania college campuses this year. Last spring, over 100 Temple students contracted the highly contagious disease, CBS Philly reported. In the midst of the Temple outbreak, administrators sent an email notifying Penn faculty, students, and staff on March 27 that a Penn undergraduate who lives off-campus was diagnosed with mumps. Public health officials believed the case at Penn was not connected to the Temple outbreak, the email read.
Two weeks later, Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé confirmed two more cases of the mumps on Penn's campus. Dubé told The Daily Pennsylvanian the Penn community’s immunization compliance rate is about 99%, a very high rate.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mumps is highly contagious and is spread through direct contact with the saliva or respiratory droplets of an infected person. Symptoms include fever, headache, and swelling of salivary glands along the jaw and cheeks.
Penn requires all full-time students and all students living on campus housing to have two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, a strong first line of defense against the disease. According to the CDC, however, the vaccine is only about 88% effective in preventing mumps. For further prevention, Student Health Services advises students to avoid sharing food or drinks with others and wash their hands frequently with soap or a sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.