More than 4k MMR vaccines made available at Syracuse University amid mumps outbreak

Health officials are encouraging students at Syracuse (N.Y.) University to seek a third dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine amid a campus-wide outbreak of the mumps in recent weeks, according to a report from Syracuse.com.

In addition to encouraging the campus community to engage in good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of infection, the Onondaga County Health Department, the New York State Department of Health and the university have made more than 4,000 MMR vaccines available to students. The vaccines are being made available to address possible waning immunity, as vaccine effectiveness can wane over time. As of Monday, there were 27 confirmed cases and 45 probable cases of the mumps reported on campus.

"We do now have a sustained outbreak," said Brad Hutton, the state's deputy health commissioner, according to Syracuse.com. "It's not a panacea. It's just an additional strategy."

The mumps are best known for painful, swollen salivary glands that cause puffy cheeks and swollen jaw. It is a highly transmissible disease spread by person-to-person contact and is typically accompanied by initial symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite.

According to the CDC, two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine are 88 percent effective at preventing mumps.

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