OSU mumps outbreak reminds KSU students to get vaccinated


Kent State University Email About Mumps

Hannah Reed

Health professionals at Kent State are stressing the importance of immunizations because of the recent mumps outbreak at Ohio State University.   

The mumps is a viral illness that can cause fever, headache, muscle ache and swollen salivary glands.

Angela DeJulius, chief university physician at University Health Services, said everyone is required to have two doses of MMR, or the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

“You get one after your first birthday, and you get the second dose right before you go to kindergarten,” DeJulius said. “It is also required that you submit those records to Kent State when you come here.”

DeJulius said the nurses at DeWeese Health Center can find out if patients need the vaccine and can give it to them if they do. She said several people have come into the health center to be checked for mumps, but there have not been any confirmed cases of the illness on campus.

Laura Damicone, a pharmacist at University Health Services, said it is required for people with the mumps to stay home for five days.

“The Health Department requires [the isolation],” Damicone said. “That’s a lot of time to miss from class.”

DeJulius said it is still important to be cautious because the mumps is easily spread through sneezing or coughing. She said to take general precautions to avoid getting the illness, such as not sharing drinks.

“The most contagious time is right before you get sick, so you can be feeling fine and sharing drinks but the next day you feel symptoms,” DeJulius said. “You have just exposed everybody to it.”

Jim Hostler, chief pharmacist at University Health Services, said it is possible for a person to get the mumps even if he or she has been immunized.

“Even for people who had the immunization or had the mumps, there’s a 20 percent chance they can get it again,” Hostler said.

Hostler said there is no cure for mumps; there is only treatment of the general symptoms.

“It’s a virus, so you just have to let it work its course,” Hostler said. “The most you can do is try to stay comfortable.”

DeJulius said overall, the best way for students to avoid dealing with the symptoms is to make sure they are vaccinated.

“The main message is to get immunized,” DeJulius said. “I don’t think any student can afford to miss five days of class with finals coming up.”

Contact Hannah Reed at [email protected].