3 people test positive for mumps virus at the College of Charleston


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Three people have tested positive for the mumps virus at the College of Charleston.

Based on the three cases, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has listed the case as an outbreak, according to CofC Executive Director of Communications, Ron Menchaca.

“Since the first case was confirmed on Sept. 17, 2019, College health officials and student affairs staff have been working around the clock to provide support to all affected individuals in each of these cases, including notifying classmates, roommates, friends, colleagues and others who may have come into contact with the individuals who tested positive,” said Menchaca.

Dear Faculty and Staff,

A third case of mumps was diagnosed over the weekend. As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (S.C. DHEC), this third case now qualifies our situation as an outbreak, and this means the College will follow its campus-wide response and emergency protocols.

Because of the highly contagious nature of mumps, it is critical that all faculty and staff follow the directions provided by College of Charleston health officials to ensure our campus community’s health and safety.

College of Charleston message to faculty and staff

The College is working closely with DHEC and the Medical University of South Carolina to stop the spread of this virus on campus and to ensure that the academic and student life functions of the university continue with minimal disruption.

“In addition to isolating the individuals who tested positive, College health officials have been verifying student immunization records to identify and contact those who may be at higher risk of contracting the virus,” he said. “Assisted by health professionals from MUSC, the College will conduct a vaccination clinic on campus this week to provide high-risk individuals with access to the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. It’s important to note that even people who have previously had one or two doses of the MMR vaccine can still contract mumps.”

People who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms and often do not know they have the disease. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks.

Mumps can occasionally cause complications including deafness, inflammation of the testicles, brain, tissue covering the brain, ovaries, and breasts.

The virus is spread through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat.

To learn more, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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