Vincent J. WinklerPrins, assistant vice president for student health sent a university wide email on Nov. 3 stating that two undergraduate students had been recently diagnosed with mumps at the Student Health Center on campus. WinklerPrins added in the email that university officials have reached out to both the D.C. Department of Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In the email, WinklerPrins noted that “Other cases [of mumps]have been reported in the D.C. area.”
According to the CDC, mumps is a contagious disease, starting “with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands.” The best way to prevent mumps is to get vaccinated, and it is advised one should get two vaccinations in their lifetime. The few outbreaks that do occur are mostly “in places where people have had prolonged, close contact with a person who has mumps” such as in classes and dorms. It can be transmitted by “coughing, sneezing, or through direct contact with contaminated items or surfaces,” according to WinklerPrins.
WinklerPrins advises that if a student is concerned they have mumps, they are advised to call the Student Health Center at 202-687-2200. If diagnosed, it is highly recommended that someone who is infected stay away from others, particularly infants and those with weak immune systems and to wash their hands regularly.
Even though two undergraduates were diagnosed, WinklerPrins stated that “the vast majority of current Georgetown University students have been vaccinated.”