Two confirmed cases of the mumps, along with ten probable cases, have been reported at Lewis University in Romeoville. ( AS OF 12-14-18: 5 confirmed and 10 probable. Probable cases indicate symptomatic swelling for two or more days.)
Will County Health Department Epidemiologist Alpesh Patel says a mumps outbreak among college students can be a sign of mumps strains having evolved and changed significantly over the years.
“Outbreaks in to the college age group suggest that either today’s mumps strains have evolved to elude the immune response triggered by the vaccine, or protection from the vaccine simply wanes over time. There is no evidence that the vaccine is any less effective today than it was a half a century ago. Get vaccinated!
Information on mumps can be found at this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt09-mumps.html.
Meanwhile, Lewis University has announced that courses, including exams, will continue as previously scheduled for the remainder of the semester. In addition, enhanced cleaning measures continue throughout the Romeoville campus.
Lewis students, faculty, and staff should notify their healthcare provider if they become ill and develop swollen or painful salivary glands under the ears or jaw, or on the cheeks. Some common symptoms with mumps infection include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides.
Beginning Monday, December 10, 2018, all Lewis students, faculty and staff who have not submitted evidence of immunity are restricted from campus until at least December 28, 2018. Students that submitted their immunization records to the Center for Health & Counseling Services at the time of their enrollment do not need to resubmit their documentation.
Acceptable presumptive evidence of mumps immunity includes at least one of the following:
• written documentation of receipt of one or more doses of a mumps containing vaccine administered on or after the first birthday for preschool-aged children and adults not at high risk, and two doses of mumps-containing vaccine for school-aged children and adults at high risk (i.e., healthcare personnel, international travelers, and students at post-high school educational institutions);
• written documentation of receipt of an MMR booster in the last five years;
• laboratory evidence of immunity;
• birth before 1957; or
• Laboratory confirmation of disease;
Tips for locating immunization records are available on the Center for Health & Counseling Services website.
Several Lewis University events have been canceled out of concern for public health and safety. Some of the events will be rescheduled. That information will be posted on Lewis University’s website, www.lewisu.edu, when it becomes available.