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Mumps and New York measles outbreak may impact students

Two recent cases of mumps at Belmont aren’t the only health concerns Belmont students faced on Tuesday.

An outbreak of measles in Brooklyn, New York, also hit close to home, as 22 Belmont students are currently living there for the Belmont East program.

Though Belmont requires that all students receive two doses of the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine, some may not have it because of exemptions allowed by the state of Tennessee. And even students who are vaccinated could still be at risk.

“While most individuals receive the mumps MMR vaccine as children, that vaccine is not 100 percent effective so it’s important to be aware of symptoms and seek treatment immediately,” according to the email from Health Services.

The measles and mumps are contagious viral illnesses that are spread through saliva or mucus. Symptoms of the mumps include swelling of the salivary glands, fever, headache, muscle aches and tiredness. Symptoms of the measles include cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, fever and a rash that spreads from the hairline down the body, according to the Tennessee Health Department website.

Health Services is checking to make sure all students at Belmont East have the vaccine, Delony said. Students in the area can also receive a booster injection to help minimize the risk of infection.

On Belmont’s campus, health services is urging students and faculty to take steps to ensure they are protected from mumps.

“This means frequent hand washing, avoiding unnecessary physical contact and not sharing eating utensils or food with other students. In addition, cough etiquette is important,” according to the email.

Health Services is also offering a booster injection for students who may have come in close contact with the mumps, according to the email.

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