Number of Mizzou mumps cases doubles in one week

Number of Mizzou mumps cases doubles...

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri Student Health Center said it's continuing to see students with the mumps virus.

As of Wednesday, the center said 73 cases of mumps have been identified. Those cases include both confirmed and probable.

Last week, 31 students were diagnosed with the virus and another 27 were showing symptoms.

"A situation where students are living closely together and they're exposed to each other's coughs and sneezes would certainly be a situation for spread of an infection like that," said Dr. Michael Cooperstock, the Medical Director of the Infectious Control Department at MU Health. "So it's not uncommon to see small outbreaks."

The Student Health Center said many of the cases have links to the Greek Life community. University officials are working with local and state public health officials to identify other possible cases and to prevent or minimize additional cases.

The first confirmed cases of mumps at Mizzou was on Nov. 2 when four students were diagnosed with the virus.

According to Dr. Susan Even, executive director of the Student Health Center, every student had their required two doses of MMR vaccines before attending the university.

"The mumps vaccine is a very good vaccine, but it's not perfect," said Dr. Cooperstock. "For any one person, the protection is only about 70%. So if you've been immunized with even two doses, which is the current plan, you still may be susceptible to mumps."

During the 2015-2016 school year, Iowa State and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had hundreds of students diagnosed with the mumps. Health professionals suggested students get a third vaccination to prevent the virus from spreading.

According to the CDC, as of Nov. 5, 2,879 cases of the mumps have been reported in the U.S. So far six states have had outbreaks of at least 100 cases. Those states include Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts and Oklahoma.

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