Mumps Outbreak at the University of Idaho has Health Officials Concerned

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Idaho health officials are worried over a mumps outbreak at the University of Idaho campus, according to KTVB-TV. The Boise station reported that while there have been only six cases of mumps in Idaho over the past five years, now there are 10 confirmed cases at the university and another 20 cases under investigation.

The first two cases cropped up in early October, according to the North Central Public Health District.

Health officials are especially concerned with the coming Thanksgiving break, when it will be possible for infected students to take the highly contagious virus home to their families. It spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing or talking—when droplets of saliva and mucus go airborne. 

Symptoms appear up to 25 days after being exposed and include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite and swollen salivary glands under the ears. Rare complications can include deafness and meningitis.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is urging students from the university to use the break to check their vaccination records to make sure they are current on their measles, mumps and rubella shot before returning to classes.