UA Pat Walker Health Center officials have confirmed 35 mumps cases at the UofA since September, and as of Dec. 16, a majority of students affected have fully recovered, with only a handful still contagious.
Mumps is a contagious, untreatable disease spread through saliva, which can be transferred by touch or through the air due to coughing, sneezing or talking. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and swollen salivary glands. Most people show symptoms 16-18 days after infection and recover within two weeks.
Following the Nov. 22 directive confirming nine mumps cases on campus, the Arkansas Department of Health issued a new directive Tuesday confirming the updated total and requiring UA faculty and staff to show they have received two doses of MMR vaccine in their lifetime.
Arkansas health officials will consider the outbreak over after there are no new diagnoses for 52 days — twice the time it takes for symptoms to appear, said Zac Brown, communications director for PWHC.
While there is not a specific treatment for the disease, the first and most important step is isolating those diagnosed so they cannot infect others, Brown said. Following diagnosis, it typically takes around five days for a person to stop displaying contagious symptoms.
After a student visits PWHC, it takes a few days to receive test results from the ADH, Brown said.
ADH officials added a page to their website displaying the updated diagnosis count for students and parents to check over winter break.