Mumps confirmed at UW-Whitewater

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Catherine W. Idzerda | October 1, 2015

WHITEWATER—The Walworth County Health Department is encouraging people to check their immunization records after UW-Whitewater students were found to have mumps.

The two cases were confirmed Tuesday, according to a news release from UW-Whitewater.

The University Health and Counseling Service and the health department encourage Whitewater residents to:

—Check their immunization records to make sure they've had two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

People born before 1957 probably had mumps as children and are not generally considered in need of a vaccination.

To find immunization records, check the Wisconsin Immunization Registry at https://www.dhsWIR.org or call your health care provider.

—People who have not been vaccinated or are not sure if they have immunity should contact their local health care providers.

—Students can get the vaccine for free at the university health clinic in Ambrose Health Center from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1.

—People can call the Walworth County Health Department, 262-741-3140, for more information. The Rock County Health Department also can help people find low-cost vaccines, 608-757-5440.

—Watch for symptoms even if you have been vaccinated.
Flu-like symptoms usually begin 16 to 18 days after exposure. Swelling of the cheek and jaw usually follow. Tenderness or swelling of the testicles is another symptom.

—Mumps is contagious and is spread by the infected person talking, sneezing or coughing, the news release said. Because of the contagious nature of the illness, people who are sick must stay home.

Deb Erickson, nursing supervisor at the Rock County Health Department, said people who have had two doses of the MMR vaccine can be “reasonably” certain of their immunity.

Mumps can have rare but serious consequences, such as deafness, inflammation of the brain and inflammation of the tissues covering the brain and spinal column.

Erickson said the MMR vaccine has been “studied more than any other vaccine.” Studies have proved repeatedly that the vaccine is not related to autism, she said.

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