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Mumps Outbreak Spreads out of Ohio State University

Update Date: Mar 26, 2014 10:15 AM EDT

The mumps outbreak, which first appeared at Ohio State University in Columbus, has spread to the surrounding community. According to the public health officials, there are 63 confirmed cases so far. 45 of these cases were identified in students, staff and other members tied to the university.

The health department reported that the cases at the school started two weeks ago with 16 students. Since then, a total of 45 cases have been identified at OSU, affecting adults between the ages of 18 and 48. The other 18 cases that were identified in Franklin County residents occurred in people between the ages of four and 50. The health officials have asked residents living in the communities by the university to make sure that they have had at least two doses of the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

"Even if you look at the outbreak, it's a highly vaccinated population. But what we want to make sure is that if there are folks out there who have not had their two shots, and they need it, they should right away," public health spokesman, Jose Rodriguez, said according to the New York Daily News. "If you were born prior to 1958, you were likely exposed to the mumps so you may be protected. But most folks really need the two-shots of MMR vaccine. And if you haven't had your second shot, you really need to complete the series and get protected."

Rodriguez added that the cases at OSU and the cases in the community are not linked to one another. The 18 community cases are also not linked to each other, which suggest that this situation is a community outbreak.

"It is an easy disease to give and get, much like the flu or cold, and it spreads in highly populated areas," Rodriguez stated, according to HuffPost.

All infected people are reminded to stay at home until the infection has cleared. Mumps is highly contagious and can spread via coughing and sneezing. Some of the symptoms are fever, body aches and fatigue. In rare cases, the infection can cause fertility complications or even death.

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