Health and Fitness

What everyone should know about the Mumps/virus is confirmed in the college of Charleston and Ferrum, the University of Clemson.

Mumps vaccination

We recently reported that several East Coast universities in the US were experiencing mumps outbreaks, including South Carolina.

In recent days we see an update out of the College of Charleston, Ferrum and a report out of Clemson University.

College of Charleston

State health officials reported a mumps outbreak at the College of Charleston about one month ago. Now the school has reported additional cases bringing the total to 11 to date.

According to an ABC 4 report, the College of Charleston staff has been isolating individuals who test positive and has worked to verify student immunization records to limit the spread of the virus.

In South Carolina, students can be granted an immunization waiver based on medical or religious reasons.

Clemson University

On Friday morning, Clemson officials sent an email to all students, staff, and faculty concerning a confirmed mumps case on campus.

School officials believe this is an isolated case but the campus is trying to be proactive so more people don’t get sick.

Clemson officials said they are working with state health officials to make sure any risk of mumps transmission is quickly identified and addressed.

Here is the email that was sent out to all students and faculty:

Clemson University officials, in coordination with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), have identified an individual on its main campus with a confirmed case of mumps. University officials have been in communication with DHEC to identify persons who may have been in close contact with the individual. DHEC has provided an exposure letter to those persons so that they can monitor for symptoms.

Clemson and DHEC remain committed to ensuring any risk of mumps transmission is quickly identified and addressed. Mumps is a contagious viral infection with no specific treatment, but symptoms typically disappear over the course of a few weeks. However, it is preventable through vaccination. If you have never received the MMR vaccine, the recommendation is to receive the full two-dose series. The vaccine will not prevent infection if you have already been exposed but will protect you from future exposure.

Ferrum College

FERRUM, Va. (WDBJ) – Ferrum College officials have confirmed five cases of mumps on its campus.

WDBJ7 photo

While it’s not clear when the first case was diagnosed, an email was sent to students, faculty and staff members on Tuesday, talking about the outbreak and how to prevent contracting it.

Mumps is defined as an illness best known for the puffy cheeks and tender swollen jaw that it causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

September 13, the CDC updated its information on outbreaks in the US, from January of this year.

According to a map on the CDC website, Virginia is shown in the category of 20-49 cases.

The Virginia Department of Health says the exact number for the commonwealth so far in 2019 in 34 cases.

“There were two flyers provided to us from the Virginia Department of Health and we also asked that our students, faculty, and staff all check their immunizations make sure they’re up to date and we alerted them to possible symptoms,” said Nicole Lenz, Dean of students for Ferrum College.

According to Lenz, Ferrum students are required to have two doses of the Mumps vaccine. Due to patient confidentiality, we don’t know if the cases confirmed had been vaccinated.

“The Virginia Department of Health sent in an immunization specialist, to one of our meetings up here and she reviewed all of our records – most of our students were in good shape and the immunizations should be working well,” said Lenz.

But the college is taking the outbreak seriously. Lenz said the students affected are being given adequate time to rest, excused from classes and even having meals delivered.


Mumps is a contagious viral illness that occurs worldwide. The virus is spread by contact with saliva or respiratory tract droplets of a sick person.

Symptoms typically begin 14-18 days after exposure to the virus. Many people feel tired and achy, have a fever, and swollen salivary glands on the side of the face, usually below and in front of the ear.

Others may feel extremely ill and be unable to eat because of jaw pain, and a few will develop serious complications. However, about one-third of those infected do not experience this symptom.

The mumps vaccine is a part of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination. Two doses of MMR are recommended: The first dose is about 78% effective against mumps; two-dose vaccine effectiveness is 88%.

MMR vaccine prevents most, but not all, cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. People who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine are about nine times less likely to get mumps than unvaccinated people who have the same exposure to the mumps virus.

More information about mumps and the MMR vaccine is available on the DHEC website at

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Infographics aimed at college students depicting symptoms of mumps and steps they can take to protect themselves.
What everyone should know about the Mumps/virus is confirmed in the college of Charleston and Ferrum, the University of Clemson.
What everyone should know about the Mumps/virus is confirmed in the college of Charleston and Ferrum, the University of Clemson.