Today and tomorrow, LSU will offer the mumps vaccine to all students, faculty, and staff, after the Louisiana Department of Health confirmed at least dozen cases of mumps, several of them on the Baton Rouge campus.
Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Fred Lopez with LSU Health New Orleans says two doses of the MMR vaccine can significantly reduce the chances of a major outbreak.
“We know that those two doses are about 88% effective in presenting acquisition of the mumps infection. So it’s very good, but not perfect,” Lopez said.
Lopez for most people, the mumps consists of fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, and swelling of the salivary glands under the jaw. He says that typically lasts for 7 to 10 days and clears up. But he says there are some people who could see serious complications.
“They could get swelling of the lining of the brain, which is called meningitis. They could get swelling of the brain, which is called encephalitis. Some will get swelling of the testicles or ovaries, sometimes even resulting in infertility,” Lopez said.
Students and faculty who have been or could be exposed to the virus, particularly those in campus housing, are encouraged to get a third dose of the MMR vaccine. Lopez recommends that everyone on a college campus get the vaccine to prevent spreading the virus.
“Somebody who’s actively infected just coughing and sneezing and even talking can potentially transmit the virus to somebody else who doesn’t have immunity,” Lopez said.
The vaccines will be offered today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Student Union.