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From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
February 20, 2013

Mumps Outbreak on a University Campus—California, 2011

JAMA. 2013;309(7):650-653. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.193374

MMWR. 2012;61:986-989

1 figure omitted. Available at

Mumps is a vaccine-preventable viral disease characterized by swelling of the salivary glands; serious complications (e.g., meningitis, encephalitis, orchitis, or oophoritis) can occur. On September 29, 2011, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) three cases of mumps among students recently evaluated at their university's student health services with symptoms suggestive of mumps. An investigation by CDPH, student health services, and the local health department identified 29 mumps cases. The presumed source patient was an unvaccinated student with a history of recent travel to Western Europe, where mumps is circulating. The student had mumps symptoms >28 days before the onset of symptoms among the patients confirmed on September 29. Recognizing that at least two generations of transmission had occurred before public health authorities were alerted, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine was provided as a control measure. This outbreak demonstrates the potential value of requiring MMR vaccination (including documentation of immunization or other evidence of immunity) before college enrollment, heightened clinical awareness, and timely reporting of suspected mumps patients to public health authorities.

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