Mumps outbreaks affect dozens on 2 college campuses

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Two large universities in the Midwest — the University of Missouri in Columbia and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — are dealing with mumps outbreaks, affecting dozens of students.

According to The Kansas City Star, mumps has been confirmed in seven people linked to MU, and the total number of affected people in Columbia could be as high as 15. Students and people who visited the campus for summer welcome programs have been notified of the outbreak, and the MU Student Health Center posted an alert, saying it "encourage[s] all of our students, prospective students and visitors to assure vaccinations are up-to-date."

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In Illinois, there have been 69 mumps cases tied to the Urbana-Champaign campus, according to a Chicago Tribune report. State, local and campus health officials recommend students get a booster of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine "as soon as possible." Students with a valid ID card can receive the vaccine at no cost, and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department is offering free vaccinations to staff and faculty as well.

According to the CDC, mumps is "no longer very common in the United States" in large part due to the MMR vaccine. Before the vaccination program in the U.S. started in 1967, roughly 186,000 cases were reported each year. Now, cases range from about 200 to 2,000 each year.

When people get two doses of the MMR vaccine, it can be 88 percent effective at preventing mumps, the CDC reports.

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