Harvard University’s health officials confirm that there are two mumps cases at the university.

The Cases

On Thursday, health officials from Harvard University confirmed that there are two cases of the mumps at the university, the director of Health Services, Paul Barriera  said. The university has not named the two people infected.

“If you are experiencing any symptoms of mumps — facial swelling, jaw pain, earache, or testicular swelling — or if you think you may have been exposed, we advise you to refrain from public activities, avoid travel and public transportation, and contact Harvard University Health Services or your primary care provider to be evaluated,” he said.

The Administration and Finance dean, Leslie Kirwan sent out an email, saying: “Colleagues who have been in that facility recently are urged to take special note of this alert, though it is of importance to our whole community.” She emphasizes that those most vulnerable to getting infected are those who never had the mumps before.

There is also an ongoing investigation as to the origin of these infections are, according to the Public Health state department and Boston’s Public Health Commission.

Mumps

Mumps are a disease that is caused by the “mumps virus,” and is known to be highly contagious. It spreads by means of “respiratory droplets” or by direct contact with someone who is infected. The symptoms usually disappear and a person makes a full recover about 10 days after the symptoms appear. A particular point of caution is that the virus could spread from person to person even before the initial infected person shows any symptoms- about seven days before symptoms emerge. It can even spread from a person after they stopped showing symptoms.

The disease is also particularly unpleasant in that it creates a painful swelling in either one or both of one’s parotid glands, lasting up to one week. In 15 to 40 percent of cases of infected men after puberty, the disease can also cause a painful testicular inflammation for up to six weeks. In 15 to 30 percent of these cases, both the testicles are swollen. This symptom typically comes up around 10 days after the parotid glands swell up. In 10 percent of infected women who hit puberty develop ovarian inflammation.

In 0,02 percent of cases, some people develop encephalitis from the disease, which is when the brain gets infected. Hearing loss is also detected in 0.005 percent of cases.

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