FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Arkansas Department of Health has confirmed 26 cases of the mumps at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville campus since September.

The number of cases skyrocketed for the fall semester from a total of six by the end of October to a total of 20 reported cases in the month of November alone.

In November, a report from the ADH said students that have never received an MMR vaccine needed to be excluded from class and university activities for at least 26 days.

According to Zac Brown with the University of Arkansas’ Health Center, that health policy is still in effect for students who are under-vaccinated or do not have any.

However, Brown says that half of the roughly 400 students who were under-vaccinated or not vaccinated at all, half have updated their immunization status and returned to class.

“I will say that the overall response and support from the entire campus has been positive,” Brown said. “Any time we have a public health concern — especially respiratory illnesses like the flu and cold — our students, faculty and staff make practicing effective respiratory hygiene a priority. And as long as everyone continues to wash their hands, cover their mouths when the cough/sneeze, disinfect surfaces and not share food/drinks, we can help stop the spread of viruses and keep campus safe and healthy.”

It’s unknown at this time whether or not those affected were vaccinated.

Mumps symptoms can be fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite for roughly 7 to 10 days. 

If you believe you have the mumps, call your doctor beforehand to let them know. They may not want you to sit in the waiting room. 

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