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Mumps Update - March 15, 2017
Since October 7, 2016 SUNY New Paltz has experienced a mumps outbreak. The campus had one case of mumps this spring semester. That student is fully recovered, no longer contagious and has returned to class. March 9, 2017 marked 26 days since that case was diagnosed. In consultation with the Ulster County Health Department, students without documented immunity to mumps because of religious and medical exemptions were able to return to campus on that day. Hopefully the outbreak is over.
While there is minimal risk of transmission to the general public, it is important that individuals on campus take extra precautions to avoid getting the mumps. The transmission of mumps is through saliva contact, sharing of utensils, drinking glasses, smoking products and kissing. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends two primary methods of control. First, vaccination of persons who aren’t fully immunized and second, isolation of infected persons when they are contagious. Cleaning hands with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is also recommended.
The College is sharing the following information with you:
- Per campus protocol, the affected students and staff members, who all have been immunized against mumps, have been isolated while contagious. Student athletes and resident students, in particular, have been educated about how to reduce exposure to mumps. Immunizations work but are not 100% effective.
- Last fall, 19 students who had not been immunized were sent home until the outbreak is over, per Ulster County Health Department and the New York State Health Department guidelines.
- Per campus policy, Student Health Service has collected documentation of immunizations from new students enrolling for spring 2017. Those students who do not provide documentation of immunity to mumps must leave campus until the outbreak ends. This group includes those students with religious and medical exemptions to vaccinations and students who fail to provide Student Health Service with a copy of their immunization records. Student Affairs has been and will continue to notify faculty whose students are impacted by this exclusion from campus.
- All SUNY New Paltz students are required to provide documentation of two measles, one rubella and one mumps immunization, provide documentation of immunity to these diseases or provide documentation of a religious or medical exemption. According to the New York State Health Department, students enrolled in less than six credits do not need to provide immunization records. However, we encourage these students to confirm their immunizations with their healthcare provider. If students are not sure if their immunizations are up to date, they may contact Student Health Service at (845) 257-3400.
- In response to the mumps outbreak on campus, the New York State Department of Health, together with the Ulster County Department of Health and the College, recommended that students, who were at most risk of getting the mumps, receive a third dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The state and county health departments and the College sponsored a two-day clinic on Dec. 13-14 and made the third vaccine available to all students, faculty and staff. About 1,500 individuals received the vaccine at the clinic.
- For those students who did not attend the clinic, the Student Health Service has immunizations available at NO COST to the student. Employees who wish to receive a booster vaccine and who did not attend the vaccine clinic in December should contact their health care provider.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016 has seen the most cases of mumps, primarily on college campuses across 45 states and the District of Columbia, since 2006.
- Campus tours and general information sessions will continue on campus as scheduled. We will eliminate campus tours in any affected residence halls. If you decide not to visit at this time, we encourage you to learn more about the College through our admission website. For questions about campus tours and general information sessions, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission: (845) 257-3200.
- Campus departments and units who have events scheduled that involve visitors from off-campus, especially children, should take the following precautions: 1) no student known to be infected with mumps should participate in such events, 2) notify visiting children’s parents to check their children’s immunizations before participating and ask that they not attend if their child has not been immunized, 3) consult your supervisor if you are uncertain about whether to hold the event or not or contact the Student Health Center. This guidance assumes that any New Paltz students still in attendance have documented immunizations.
- Through the fall semester and winter break Student Health Service has confirmed 62 cases of mumps on campus (59 students and 3 staff).
- Mumps is caused by a respiratory virus, whose symptoms include painful swelling of the salivary glands near the ears and under the jaw, which can occur on one or both sides of the face. A person may be contagious for two days before their salivary glands swell. This swelling may be associated with other non-specific symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and decreased appetite. Symptoms of mumps occur 12-25 days after exposure (usually 16-18 days.)
- Out of an abundance of caution, the campus has enhanced its cleaning efforts in areas where saliva may be contacted e.g. bath room sinks and hydration stations. We ask that students, employees and visitors make sure their immunizations are up to date and ask you to follow the CDC protocols to avoid further spread of this illness.
If you have health-related questions, contact your healthcare provider or Student Health Service at 845-257-3400.
Richard J. Ordway Jr., M.D.
Director, Student Health Service
Excerpt from Press Release. See full press release here.
Press release sent Friday, Dec. 9 2016
- Updated Dec. 13 2016 -
NYS Department of Health, SUNY New Paltz and Ulster County Health Department to Hold Mumps Vaccine Clinic on Campus
Students will Receive Vaccine Free-of-Charge
In response to the mumps outbreak on the SUNY New Paltz campus, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) together with the Ulster County Health Department and SUNY New Paltz, will hold a vaccination clinic on Tuesday, December 13, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Wednesday, December 14, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Student Union. Registration is available through my.newpaltz.edu.
There have been 69 confirmed or probable cases of mumps associated with SUNY New Paltz reported to NYSDOH since October with more under investigation. NYSDOH and the Ulster County Health Department have been providing technical assistance and guidance to the College in response to the outbreak, and NYSDOH’s Wadsworth Laboratory has assisted in laboratory testing of reported and suspected cases.
Excerpt from message sent to campus 11/17/2016. See full message here.
The Ulster County Health Department has reported to us that there is a probable case of mumps at the New Paltz High School. The high school student has been in close contact with a SUNY New Paltz student, who was previously diagnosed with mumps and was fully immunized. Because this high school student has been in close contact with a New Paltz Middle School student and a Duzine student, school officials have notified students, staff and parents at all four schools in the district that they may be at risk of exposure to mumps.
The College has been in contact with the school district and has offered to provide assistance as needed.
As you prepare to go home for the Thanksgiving holiday, we remind you to take appropriate precautions to reduce spread of this illness. Mumps are transmitted by close contact, sharing of utensils, drinking glasses, and saliva contact (kissing). Washing hands is recommended per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Excerpt from Campus Update. See full message here.
Since Oct. 7, the Student Health Service has confirmed 60 cases of mumps on campus (including one staff member and several members of the swim team). This number is lower than the State Health Department published count (63 as of Dec. 9, 2016) because while most students have been seen and diagnosed by the Student Health Center, some students are being seen and diagnosed by their personal physician or at another health care provider (such as an urgent care clinic) in the surrounding community. Those students, unless recently diagnosed, are no longer contagious and have returned to campus.
While there is minimal risk of transmission to the general public, there is low risk for the campus community. It is important that individuals on campus take extra precautions to avoid getting the mumps. The transmission of mumps is through saliva contact, sharing of utensils, drinking glasses, smoking products and kissing. Washing hands is recommended per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A person may be contagious for two days before their glands swell.