By QU Media
Yesterday, Quincy University students received an email from the school informing them of a probable case of the mumps on campus.
Testing is currently in progress to see if this is a confirmed diagnosis. In the meantime, the student has been placed in isolation.
QU wants students to be aware of the symptoms of this virus, how it is transmitted and how to prevent infection.
The school is working closely with the Adams County Health Department and local health care professionals to be as proactive as possible in keeping the campus healthy.
If an individual is vaccinated against mumps, his or her risk of getting mumps is very low. It is important, however, to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mumps because it is still possible to get mumps regardless of age or vaccination status.
Mumps is a virus that is easily passed from person to person by saliva, sneezing, coughing, sharing drinks, etc.
Symptoms of mumps include swollen glands (starting behind the ear and moving towards cheek or jaw area) and fever, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches or a headache.
If students experience these symptoms, they should contact the Wellness Center at 217-228-5432, ext 3790. However, the school asks that they not visit the Wellness Center in person if they believe they may have mumps to prevent further spread of the virus. The hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Outside of those hours, students should contact Christine Tracy at 217-228-5432, ext. 3353 to explore alternative medical arrangements.
Furthermore, students should isolate themselves in their residence hall rooms. If they live off campus, they should refrain from coming to campus and other public places. Mumps is a highly contagious virus. Therefore, it is essential that students limit their contact with others.
For assistance in sending official notification to professors for any missed classes due to a mumps diagnosis by the Wellness Center staff or another medical professional, contact Tracy.
Residential students who have a mumps diagnosis will be contacted by the Residence Life staff to provide support, make alternative living arrangements and arrange for meal delivery.
According to the school, students can prevent contracting mumps with a few simple actions, like covering their noses and mouths with a tissue when they cough or sneeze and throwing the tissue away immediately after use. They should also wash their hands often with soap and water, refrain from close contact with individuals who are sick or are experiencing symptoms and avoid touching their eyes, noses and mouths. They should not share eating or drinking untensils.
If students are unsure that they have received the mumps (MMR) vaccinations, they should contact Crystal Sutter, director of residence life, at 217-228-5432, ext. 3787 to verify their status. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to contact their health care providers regarding their vaccinations.
Students and staff who are not appropriately immunized or who do not have laboratory evidence of immunity will be excluded from work or classes from the 12th through the 25th day after their last exposure. When multiple cases occur, susceptible individuals need to be excluded through 25 days after the onset of the last case at the school or workplace.