University Health Services to offer MMR vaccine clinic on March 23

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Health Services (UHS) will offer a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine clinic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, in Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park. The MMR vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella. Students can schedule an appointment for the clinic through MyUHS.

Students who have not had a first or second dose of MMR or students who have been recommended to receive a third dose of the vaccine should attend the clinic. All students, including those seeking a third dose of MMR, are welcome to attend the clinic if they would like to be vaccinated to minimize the risk of contracting mumps.

Anyone receiving the vaccination during the March 23 clinic will have the vaccine administrative fee waived, so the cost to the student will be $99. Students should bring a photo ID and health insurance card to the clinic. If a student does not provide health insurance information, the cost will be charged to their Bursar account.

As of March 17, University Health Services has investigated 49 probable or confirmed mumps cases. Of those 49 cases, 23 have been confirmed by lab tests. The first confirmed mumps case was reported at University Park on Jan. 29.

During a mumps outbreak, people identified as a contact of a probable or confirmed case of mumps who do not have proof of immunity will be excluded from campus for 26 days after the last possible date of exposure.

People infected by mumps are considered contagious from three days before symptoms begin through five days after the start of symptoms. Anyone who has experienced symptoms is urged to contact UHS at 814-863-4463 or a local health care provider immediately.

While two doses of the MMR vaccine typically provide adequate immunity to the infection, the vaccination does not guarantee protection. A third dose of the vaccine may provide additional protection and is used during outbreaks as a means to reduce transmission. Additional information about the MMR vaccine can be found on the CDC website.

What is mumps? What are the symptoms?

Mumps is a serious contagious disease passed through saliva and respiratory secretions. Mumps symptoms often include tender swollen glands below the ear or along the jawline on one or both sides of the face and neck, headache, fever and cold-like symptoms. Complications from mumps, although rare, can include inflammation of the testicles, ovaries, breasts and/or brain.

How can I protect myself from getting mumps?

Mumps is passed through saliva and respiratory secretions. Students are urged not to share food or drinks, and not to engage in activities where drinks are shared or where the virus can be passed through saliva exposure. In addition, frequent hand washing and respiratory etiquette are encouraged to help prevent spread of the disease.

What if I was never vaccinated against mumps?

Anyone who does not have immunity to mumps, either through receipt of the two-dose MMR vaccine or a previous mumps infection, should schedule an appointment immediately to receive the vaccine at University Health Services or from their primary-care provider. If you are exposed to someone who has mumps and cannot demonstrate proof of immunity to mumps, you will be excluded from campus for up to 26 days after last possible exposure.

If I was vaccinated, am I protected?

Most of the confirmed mumps cases are in students who received the CDC-recommended two doses of MMR vaccine. While two doses of MMR vaccine typically provide adequate immunity to the infection, the vaccination does not guarantee protection. According to the CDC, the mumps component of the MMR vaccine is about 88 percent effective when a person receives two doses.

What should I do if I contract mumps? What is the treatment?

While there is no treatment for mumps, University Health Services is advising that students who develop mumps symptoms get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take over-the-counter pain medication to ease symptoms. Students are also urged to stay home, isolate themselves from others for five days after the start of the symptoms, and avoid activities where food or drinks are shared or where the virus can be passed through saliva exposure. If you have symptoms, it is important to notify University Health Services or other health care provider to be evaluated.

What is Penn State doing to stop the spread of mumps?

Students who have developed mumps symptoms have been isolated and several of these students have left University Park and returned home during the infectious phase of the illness. UHS staff have been in touch with those students who have been in close contact with any confirmed or probable mumps cases. We have excluded students from campus who were identified as a contact of a probable or confirmed case of mumps and could not provide proof of vaccination, in an attempt to stop the disease from spreading. 

Last Updated April 13, 2017