A health alert is being sent out to students at VCU. Thursday, campus officials confirmed another case of the mumps. The announcement comes just a week after an outbreak at the University of Richmond.
University officials say it was their duty to immediately inform the campus of this confirmed case of mumps and now it's up to faculty and students to protect themselves.
Dr. Roberson of VCU says it was only a matter of time before the mumps appeared here since nearly 20 people suffered symptoms at the University of Richmond this month alone. Officials confirmed five to ten mumps cases at UR confirmed.
"Mumps tend to occur on college campuses and schools because the students are so close together between the dorms and the classroom and going to athletic events," says VCU Health Services Director Dr. Margaret Roberson.
She says mumps are rare at VCU with no confirmed cases since the 80's. Campus officials sent out a letter telling students and faculty to seek medical attention if cold-like symptoms occur and stay away from others.
"I always try to make sure what I'm dealing with is clean…and I always try to keep my surrounding clean too," student Michael Poach said.
Another tip - doctors say, don't share drinks or utensils since the virus can be contracted from saliva.
"Sanitize areas that are highly used which is door knobs, computers, table tops," Dr. Roberson added.
It's advice that comes on the heels of an official outbreak in Richmond that now has students learning how to take control of their health.
"I'm happy that they're informing us letting us know that this is happening," said student Jordan Atwater.
Doctors say the person who contracted mumps at VCU is doing fine now after being isolated for several days. While mumps vaccines are encouraged, Dr. Roberson says they're only 95 % effective. That's why taking extra precautions like washing hands and sneezing into a tissue can protect yourself and others.
Visit the CDC website for more information on the virus and signs and symptoms of infection.
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