State Health Department Warns of Mumps Outbreak at SUNY Plattsburgh: Clinton County Health to Hold Immunization Clinic This Week

ALBANY, N.Y. (Mar. 16, 2010) - Three confirmed cases of mumps have been reported at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh among students since February 23, this year. To prevent the spread of this outbreak, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommends that all students who have not received two doses of mumps vaccine be excluded from attending school at SUNY Plattsburgh until they are fully vaccinated and or can show evidence of immunity.

DOH and the Clinton County Health Department are investigating the outbreak. There is no relation between this outbreak and the mumps outbreak that began last summer in Orange and Rockland Counties in a religious community.

SUNY Plattsburgh has notified students of the outbreak and reviewed student immunization records. During spring break, the University will be holding mumps immunization clinics with the Clinton County Health Department for all students and staff who have not received 2 doses of mumps vaccine. Clinics will be held all day Wednesday, March 17 by appointment only (call 518-565-4848) and on Monday, March 22, at the SUNY Plattsburgh Health Center starting at 9 a.m. on a walk in basis (call 518-564-2187 for information).

Mumps is a viral disease characterized by fever, headache, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, and swelling and tenderness of one or more of the salivary glands situated along the angle of the jaw and inside the mouth, including the parotid gland (located within the cheeks just below the front of the ear). Approximately one-third of infected people do not have noticeable salivary gland swelling.

The disease is transmitted by direct contact with saliva and discharges from the nose and throat of infected individuals. The incubation period is usually from 16 to 18 days, but may vary from 12 to 25 days. Mumps is contagious from 3 days before until 5 days after the onset of swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands. Immunity acquired after contracting the disease is usually long term.

While severe complications are rare, mumps can cause inflammation of the brain and /or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis/meningitis), inflammation of the testicles (orchitis), inflammation of the ovaries, and inflammation of the pancreas, spontaneous abortion and deafness.

To help prevent the spread of the outbreak, individuals who may have been exposed to mumps and or who have symptoms should not attend classes and call their health care provider first before making an office visit, to avoid exposing other patients. Individuals who may have been exposed to mumps and do not know whether they are up-to-date on their mumps vaccination should contact their health care providers to find out whether they need to be vaccinated.

All health care providers should report suspected cases of mumps immediately to their local health department and obtain a blood test to confirm the diagnosis.

To locate a local health department visit the web site at http://nyhealth.gov/nysdoh/lhu/map.htm and to learn about mumps visit the state health department web site