CWU News

Students, do you have your mumps vaccine?

The Kittitas County Public Health Department and the CWU Student Medical and Counseling Clinic are urging students to check their vaccination records in light of a mumps outbreak involving University of Idaho Moscow students. Student who have never had mumps or have no record of an MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine should get vaccinated.

Students heading home for the holiday break can use the opportunity to check with their families to see if they have had an MMR. They also may contact their family providers or the Kittitas County Public Health Department to check their vaccination records. The MMR vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, mumps is spread by coughing and sneezing. It can cause headache, fever, and swelling of the cheeks, neck or jaw. Mumps can lead to hearing loss, swelling of spinal cord and brain covering, and brain damage.

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, there were 10 laboratory confirmed cases with an additional 20 reports of mumps being investigated, including two in the Moscow, Idaho community. “Symptoms can appear 25 days after a person is exposed and with students traveling for the holiday, it is certainly plausible that there will be additional cases,” said Liz Whitaker, community health supervisor.

Click here and here for more information regarding mumps and the MMR vaccine. Or contact Kittitas County Public Health at 509-962-7515 or the CWU clinic at 509-963-1881.

December 5, 2014