BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — At least four students at the University of New Hampshire in Durham have confirmed cases of mumps, according to state health officials. Two other students may also be infected, despite all six people being previously fully vaccinated against the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mumps is a contagious viral infection that can cause fever, muscle pain, headaches, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Mumps can pass from one person to another through saliva exchange and close personal contact.
The MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella) has reduced mumps outbreaks by more than 99 percent since it was first used in 1967. However the CDC cautions that widespread outbreaks of mumps can and do still occur, especially in places where people share a common living space.
Officials confirm all six people with mumps at UNH were in close contact with each other, however there has been no confirmation of any wider outbreak.
"We are working closely with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, to prevent further spread of this virus to others," a statement from the University said. "At this time, these cases are limited to individuals who have had close contact with one another."
UNH is working with state health officials to get a third dose of the MMR vaccine to a group of students who may have come into contact with the infected patients.