New York

Mumps Outbreak at SUNY New Paltz Expands; 32 Cases Now Confirmed

What to Know

  • Mumps is highly contagious and is characterized by fever, headache and fatigue, among other symptoms
  • The disease can't be treated and while the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, two doses of the vaccine are the best protection
  • 32 cases of the mumps have been reported at SUNY New Paltz and the outbreak has spread to the high school

Nearly three dozen mumps cases have been confirmed at the State University of New York at New Paltz as of Wednesday, school officials say. 

The outbreak, first identified in early October, has expanded steadily over the last month and a half, with 32 cases now confirmed, including at least eight members of the swim team and one athletic staff member. 

The epidemic has also spread to the town's high school, with at least three cases confirmed among student-athletes there. 

Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease that cannot be treated. The most effective preventative measure is immunization, but even that is not 100 percent effective. 

The affected SUNY New Paltz students, who have been immunized against mumps, have been isolated for the recommended period of time. Twenty students who have not been immunized have been sent home until Dec. 23. 

Campus tours and general information sessions will proceed as scheduled, but residence halls home to affected students will be avoided for the time being. 

Meanwhile, the county health department continues to assess possible cases. 

Mumps is characterized by fever, headache and swelling of the salivary glands. Fatigue, muscle aches and loss of appetite are other possible symptoms. 

After a person is exposed, symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. 

The disease is transmitted by close contact, sharing utensils and drinking glasses and through saliva contact by kissing or other means. Health officials recommend washing hands frequently.

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