(Host) In recent months, cases of mumps have been reported in Canada and Maine, causing concern among health officials in New England.
Dr. Cort Lohff is Vermont’s epidemiologist. He says health care providers here should also be on the lookout for cases of mumps, especially among college-age adults.
He says there have been about two dozen cases in Maine over the last several months.
(Lohff) Just because of the proximity and because some of these cases may have occurred among college-age students we are concerned there may be some transmission of mumps into Vermont.
(Host) Lohff says college students have an increased risk of mumps if they have not been vaccinated or have not had mumps as a child. So he says health officials are reaching out to physicians and health care practitioners who work with college campuses.
(Lohff) The best we can do at this point is make sure the public is aware about it as well as health care providers especially school health officials are aware of it so they can up their vigilance for cases of mumps in turn prevent the further spread of it to other persons.
(Host) Lohff says Vermont does require mumps vaccinations, and most college students would have had two doses, which is believed to be most effective.
Older adults are more likely to have had mumps as children. Those who didn’t have the virus are still susceptible. But Lohff says the vaccine is not generally recommended for older adults.
Symptoms of mumps include swelling of the glands, fever and sore throat.
No cases of the virus have been reported in Vermont so far.
AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach