Mumps Returns to Campus

Penn State, Texas State, and TCU reported mumps cases during 2018

college lecture room on campus

Texas Christian University (TCU) has confirmed 1 case of mumps on campus.

TCU has been working with Tarrant County Public Health Department to identify and contact other students who may have been exposed to the mumps virus by this student.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus and is transmitted from an infected person through coughing and sneezing, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The time from being infected with the virus to developing symptoms can be as long as 25 days but is typically within 16-18 days.

As of September 7, 2018, there have been no other reported mumps cases on campus, said Tarrant County Public Health in a press release.

Mumps outbreaks can occur in highly vaccinated communities, particularly in close-contact settings, such as schools, colleges, and camps.

During 2018, various colleges have reported mumps cases, such as at Penn State and Texas State

From January 1 to August 11, 2018, 47 states have reported mumps infections in 1,665 people to CDC. 

Specifically, mumps outbreaks have reported during 2018 in:

While vaccination against mumps is the best protection against mumps infection,  a small percentage of vaccinated individuals may still become infected.

The mumps vaccine is administered in combination with the measles and rubella vaccines (MMR) in a two-dose series, which is 88 percent effective at protecting against mumps, while 1 dose is 78 percent effective, says the CDC.

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But, new research indicates the immunity from the MMR vaccination decreases over-time.

A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that vaccine-derived immune protection against mumps persists an average of about 27 years, after the last dose.

These Harvard researchers estimated that 25 percent of people in the U.S. vaccinated against mumps may lose protection within 7.9 years, 50 percent within 19 years, and 75 percent within 38 years.

Which means, in addition to the currently recommended 2 doses of mumps vaccine early in life, a 3rd booster shot may help sustain immunization among adults.

Both the MMR and ProQuad vaccines contain the protection against mumps.

Most pharmacies offer mumps vaccination services.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides private sector vaccine prices for general information.

Vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.