A case of mumps virus has been confirmed on Plattsburgh State’s campus, according to a press release issued by the Clinton County Health Department.
The case, confirmed last Friday, has been isolated to just one student, but the virus can be contagious to those who have not received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Although rare, the virus can also be caught by those who have received the vaccine in some instances.
The student’s case is mild and no longer contagious according to the press release, but mumps can have serious side effects, including fever, muscle and head aches and onset parotitis, or swelling of the salivary glands. Over time, severe cases of mumps can also lead to hearing loss and meningitis.
“The college is encouraging those few students who have not been vaccinated to come to the Student Health and Counseling Center to be vaccinated,” PSUC’s Director of Student Health Kathleen Camelo said in the press release.
PSUC has been working with the Clinton County health Department and the New York State Department of Health to identify and notify those on campus who may have come into contact with the virus. The agencies have also been checking immunization records.
In a follow up release, Camelo said no other students have come forward with symptoms and the health center has confirmed that “nearly all students have confirmed vaccinations.”
A wider outbreak of mumps has been recorded in Nassau County, Long Island. This has caused the Clinton County Health Department to rule the PSUC case an “outbreak,” although it is the only reported case.
A case of mumps was also confirmed last Friday on Oswego State’s campus, but it is unknown if the cases are related.
Public health officials have requested that PSUC students who have not, or will not, receive the vaccine to vacate campus until Oct. 4, unless the officials have determined they can come back sooner.
According to the press release, there are five PSUC students who fall into that category.
The vaccination is required throughout childhood, usually in two doses. The first is given shortly after an infant’s first birthday and the second is given between four and six years of age.
Email Marissa Russo at Marissa.Russo@cardinalpointsonline.com