Middlebury College Health Services emailed the following health advisory to the full campus community on Monday, February 19:
The Vermont Department of Health has announced an outbreak of the viral illness mumps at St. Michael’s College and University of Vermont. So far, only a small number of students are ill, and there are no reports of faculty or staff cases. Currently, there are no cases of mumps at Middlebury College, but health officials are prepared if cases do occur. Here is what you need to know right now:
- Outbreaks of mumps can occur in highly-immunized college student populations.
- Approximately 99% of students at Middlebury are immunized against mumps.
- In some situations, the Department of Health will recommend a third dose of MMR – the vaccine that protects against mumps. That is happening at St. Michael’s and UVM.
- Middlebury students who are not adequately immunized based on available records are being contacted directly. They will have an opportunity to receive the MMR vaccine.
- The CDC and Department of Health recommend that unimmunized students who decline the vaccine for religious or medical reasons be excluded from campus for an extended period of time during an outbreak to protect their health and the health of the community. We are currently not excluding unimmunized students from campus, but will do so if an outbreak occurs.
- Parton Health Center staff are actively contacting students who might need 1 or 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, and will alert all students if the Department of Health recommends a third dose.
How can I help prevent the spread of mumps?
- Don’t share drinks or eating utensils.
- Cover your mouth/nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Refrain from kissing and other intimate activity.
- Don’t share cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Do not play drinking games.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like sinks, doorknobs and tables.
- At the first sign of symptoms, students should visit Parton Health Center.