Throughout the course of the winter months, we have reported on a significant outbreak of mumps in neighboring states. It looks as though the disease has spread into Louisiana but it is not as widespread as it has been reported in Arkansas and Texas.

I was speaking with my daughter who is a student at LSU. She said she had just been to the student health center on campus. While her symptoms were diagnosed as the flu, she did say that there was quite a buzz on campus and at the student health center about the mumps.

Medical Director of the state Immunization Program Dr. Frank Welch told the Louisiana Radio Network that his office has been notified of six cases of mumps among students who attend LSU in Baton Rouge.

While it might not seem like a big deal, only six cases, the close contact environment of a college campus could certainly lead to more cases if students are not aware of what they need to be on the look out for.

And then if they have any symptoms of the mumps, mild fever, itchy eyes, tiredness, or that classic cheek swelling, stay isolated and call their doctor of the student health center.

Dr. Welch also explained that his office recommends two doses of the mumps vaccine to ensure better protection against the disease. While most of the cases reported in Arkansas have been in school-age children Dr. Welch did note that the majority of the cases his office has been notified about have been at LSU.

All school-aged children in the state of Louisiana will be receiving information on mumps and then those three simple things: make sure you’re vaccinated, if you have symptoms of mumps stay home and practice good hygiene.

The bottom line is really quite simple. This disease can be controlled or abated completely if proper precautions are taken. For more information on how you can prevent mumps or the spread of the disease contact your health care provider.

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