Ohio State mumps outbreak reaches 13 students, officials worry of contagion

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Students at Ohio State University are at risk of getting the mumps, after an outbreak reached 13 students Friday.

The first case was confirmed February 12, while the most recent mumps diagnosis was March 5, according to The Columbus Dispatch writer Dean Narciso . Sickened were seven females and six males, between 8 and 22 years old.

None had to be treated in the hospital. Ten of the 13 students reported being immunized.

Narciso spoke with Dr. Mysheika Williams Roberts, medical director and assistant health commissioner. She said Columbus Public Health urges students to stay inside, alone, but officials worry the illness may spread during spring break travel and interaction.

Students may not know they're infected, and officials worry that more cases will show up.

“They’re very contagious. If they got on a plane or bus, they could spread this to others,” Roberts said.

Symptoms of the mumps include fever, headache, lethargy, loss of appetite and swollen salivary glands, Narciso reported. As a safety precaution, health officials recommend that all students get vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella and to practice good hygiene.

Roberts said only one or two cases per year are typically reported in Columbus.

“It is a big campus but confined to a small space in the city," she said. "Whenever you have a highly infectious disease on a campus, you expect it to spread."

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