RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond City Health Department is investigating two confirmed and one suspected cases of mumps at VCU.
There are no clear connections between the cases.
Otherwise, some cases of mumps have also been reported elsewhere in the Richmond-metro.
Mumps is an acute viral infection transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets spread by coughing and sneezing or contact with surfaces contaminated by those droplets. It is also shared by direct contact with saliva, such as by kissing or sharing drinks or lip balm.
Infected individuals develop symptoms 12-25 days after exposure. Symptoms include body aches, low-grade fever, loss of appetite, headache, followed by tenderness and swelling in the jaw and cheek area.
Most people have mild cases and recover within a few days to a week. Complications are uncommon but can be severe.
“All members of the campus community should monitor for signs or symptoms of mumps; contact VCU’s University Student Health Services promptly if you develop symptoms so that you can be evaluated and tested,” a release to students from the Richmond Health Department said.
RCHD strongly encourages all individuals to review their immunization status and ensure that they have received two doses of a mumps vaccine, commonly referred to as an MMR or MMRV vaccine. This vaccine is 88% effective in persons having received two doses. Although it is still possible to contract mumps when vaccinations are up-to-date, vaccination is the most effective way to prevent mumps infection.
If you have not had two doses of this vaccine, discuss the need for vaccination with your healthcare provider. Full-time students must have two doses of MMR/MMRV for school entry unless the student has an exemption. Students can check their immunization status through the secure web portal which can be accessed at: https://students.vcu.edu/health/web-portal/.
Faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider regarding their immunization status. Anyone who is unsure of their vaccination status or previous history of illness should consider being vaccinated.
RCHD is working closely with VCU’s Student Health Services and we will continue to work with the VCU community to prevent further mumps infections. Please contact Student Health Services with any questions or concerns at (804) 828-8828. Faculty and staff may contact Employee Health Services at (804) 828-0584. You may also contact Okey Utah, Epidemiologist at Richmond City Health District, at (804) 205-3752. We will provide additional updates as new information or recommendations arise.
More information on mumps and signs and symptoms of infection with mumps can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html .
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.