PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Two Maine colleges reported cases of mumps Friday.
Bowdoin College reported two current cases; and Bates College reported eight cases starting in early October, but all of those students have recovered, according to school spokesperson Kent Fischer.
Students, faculty and staff were all notified at both schools, and in both cases, the affected students remained self-isolated until the cases cleared.
Most universities and colleges require the mumps vaccine. Symptoms are usually flu-like, including a fever, headache, body aches, pain or swelling in the jaw.
Health professionals say the vaccine is 90 percent effective.
"Maintain good hygiene," University of New England Vice President for Clinical Affairs Dr. Dora Mills said. "It is so important, particularly since winter is upon us, and that means flu season as well, that with mumps now in Maine that we make sure that we wash our hands frequently, we cover our coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or a tissue and that we stay home if we're sick."
Mumps is transmitted by "respiratory droplets," so sharing cups or water bottles or utensils is one possible source.
People who have mumps can be contagious from two days — before they show any symptoms — until up to three weeks after they begin showing symptoms, Mills said.
She said that some people do not get the recommended two doses of the MMR vaccine.
Some people born before 1957 are typically immune.
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