Archive for Friday, April 7, 2006

KU parent update about mumps

April 7, 2006


Dear KU Parent:

Mumps is in the news in several states, including Kansas and, more specifically, here at the University of Kansas. Although very uncomfortable for the patient, mumps does not tend to be associated with serious complications. Still, it is highly contagious and for that reason, you are receiving this special update.

Several KU students recently have been diagnosed with mumps and others are being monitored for symptoms similar to the mumps.

Medically speaking, mumps is an acute viral disease characterized by fever, swelling and tenderness of one or more of the salivary glands. Early symptoms tend to include pain in the jaw area. It is spread like the common cold by direct contact with droplets of saliva and discharge from the nose and throat of infected individuals, often through coughing, sneezing, sharing eating utensils and glasses, etc. Mumps is contagious seven days prior to and nine days after the onset of symptoms. A person is most contagious 48 hours prior to the appearance of symptoms.

There is no specific treatment for mumps. Antibiotics are generally not prescribed since it is a viral illness. Rest, drinking fluids, and taking pain relievers are typically advised. Students who are symptomatic will be asked to stay home from work and class and to limit close contact with others for 9 days after symptoms start.

More specifically, the Lawrence Douglas County Health Department asks that all suspected cases isolate themselves from contact with others. In addition to staying away from work and class, students who live in community living environments (residence halls, scholarship halls, Jayhawker Towers, sororities, and fraternities) are asked to do the following:

1) return to the parent/guardian home; or

2) move to the home of friends or family in the area; or

3) for students living in on-campus housing, stay in their room where special services will be provided.

If a student believes he or she may have the mumps, have them call Student Health Services at 785.864.9507 or their personal medical provider for an appointment right away. The student should tell the person making the appointment that mumps are suspected.

Additional information about the mumps and how KU is responding to this public health concern is available at For answers to specific questions, you may call the Nurse Help Line at 785.864.9583 or the Student Health Services central switchboard at 785.864.9500 (press 0 for the operator) Monday-Friday from 8:00am-8:00pm, Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm and Sundays 12:30-4:30pm.


Marlesa A. Roney, Ph.D.

Vice Provost for Student Success


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