Campus mumps outbreak grows to over 40 suspected and confirmed cases

The California Department of Public Health confirmed Monday that the mumps outbreak at UC Berkeley — which has grown to 44 suspected and confirmed cases — began when a UC Berkeley student contracted the virus in Great Britain.

Department spokesperson Matt Conens said in an email Monday that laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus had increased from seven to nine cases and suspected cases had grown to approximately 35 cases.

According to Mike Sicilia, spokesperson for the department, the department located the source of the outbreak through interviewing infected students.

“We believe this outbreak was started by a student who was exposed to mumps while in Europe and returned to campus and unfortunately developed mumps and spread it to others,” Sicilia said. “It’s actually not unusual for outbreaks of mumps in the U.S. that there has been some contact with someone who has been out of the country.”

University Health Services has been advised by the department as well as the City of Berkeley Division of Public Health to refocus its containment efforts on students in high-population housing, where officials currently suspect the outbreak began.

University Health Services Medical Director Brad Buchman said prevention efforts are being focused on high-population student living areas with shared dining and bathroom facilities, including dorms, coops and fraternities and sororities, because these areas have seen the most suspected and confirmed cases.

“Students living in the high-density housing arrangements … have the highest risk and are strongly encouraged to present for MMR vaccination, regardless of vaccination status,” Buchman said in an e-mail.

Cases have been reported in the residence halls, coops, and in fraternity and sorority houses across campus, including Cloyne Court and the Clark Kerr Campus.

Clark Kerr resident Kodiak Spydell, a UC Berkeley freshman, said that he was pleased with how the campus is responding to the outbreak.

“Until I’m actually affected by the mumps, I’m fine as long as it can be contained,” he said. “That’s where the effort should be. I do think they did a good job of letting us know as soon as they could.”

The Berkeley Student Cooperative, which has experienced at least one confirmed and one suspected case of the virus, has responded to the outbreak by educating residents about preventative measures.

“The health worker coordinator is disseminating resource material and all the information we’ve gotten from the chancellor,” said BSC Executive Director Jan Stokley. “We’re educating people at the house level about what the symptoms are and what to do to prevent contagion.”

Health officials at UC Berkeley and the department are recommending that at-risk individuals who have already received two doses of the vaccine receive a third dose.

According to Buchman, though two doses of the vaccine were thought sufficient, previous outbreaks have revealed that up to half the patients with mumps had already had two doses.

Buchman said most suspected and confirmed cases saw symptoms such as a swelling of the parotid gland and some have seen inflammation of the testicles.

The mumps, measles and rubella vaccine will be available for free to students, faculty and staff at the Tang Center from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday of this week.

Clarification

A previous version may have implied that all cases of mumps involved orchitis, or swelling of the testicles. Rather, most of the cases of mumps have been mild and only a few of the cases have involved orchitis.

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  • IHerdULiek_Vaccinations

    Le Grande said Patient Zero would be prosecuted under the Code of Conduct,
    violation of Community Standards and all that.
    Mommie$ and Daddie$ won’t $end $tudent$ to a di$ea$e ridden Cal.
    Cal can’t afford the negative PR fallout from The SICKNESS.

    What you gon’ do with all that junk?

    All that junk inside that trunk?

    I’ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,

    Get you love drunk off my MUMP.

    What you gon’ do with all that ass?

    All that ass inside them jeans?

    I’m a make, make, make, make you scream

    Make you scream, make you scream.

    Cos of my MUMP (ha), my MUMP, my MUMP, my MUMP (what).

    My MUMP, my MUMP, my MUMP (ha), my lovely lady MUMPS.

  • Want2playpandemic2

    The Coops are an absolute cesspool. If it breaks out there, the whole campus is doomed.

  • Anonymous

    What happened to my comment? You didn’t like the criticism over your level of high school writing? What happened to freedom of speech?

    • Adrass

      Freedom of Speech applies when it is a government actor suppressing your speech…not some random Cal student.

  • Anonymous

    I must ask, who wrote this horrible headline, and more importantly, who approved it?  I expect better from Cal.  Clear concise language, please, not Yoda-speak.

    The numbers of “suspected” are doubling every 6-7 days.

    Go get those shots, people!

    • Rena 28

      “Get those shots”?!?! If you read the article most if not all of those affected have already had TWO shots. But apparently those don’t work, so by all means go and get another. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

      • Anonymous

        Those shots work.  What you are seeing is that their effectiveness wears off over the years (for those immunized rather for those who actually have had the mumps).  The second dose is recommended for young children, and all these people on campus are adults.  As a third for an adult, it will probably work for the rest of your life.  Your immune system as a child is ineffective compared to that of an adult.  Go ahead Rena, get the mumps as an adult and risk your sterility and meningitis. 

        • Rena 28

           Key word;”probably”.When shots first came out they thought one shot would be sufficient, then oops no that’s not enough so let give two.Now it seems two isn’t enough either, pretty soon we’ll “need” 4,5,6….So how about we let children get it as children, when it is VERY rarely dangerous, and we will have life-long immunity instead of injecting toxic ingredients that wear off in only a few years. And btw, the risk of complications from childhood mumps is much lower than the risk of complications from the MMR. ( go read a vaccine insert).

          • Anonymous

            I have had the mumps, measles (twice), rubella, and chicken pox and can speak from experience that you do not want these diseases to come back into the general population.  I almost died from pneumonia from the measles at 9 months.  As a baby, my immune system was not on par with adults (as is normal) I ended up getting the measles again at around 5, even though I actually had already had them.  Children and adults getting these diseases can have very serious complications ranging from deafness, blindness, sterility, paralysis and death.  I remember the quarantines that were placed on people’s houses and whole communities when there were outbreaks. That is what the university did at Clark Kerr.  The vaccines have reduced these diseases and do work.  If you choose to get sick, go ahead.  Just stay away from everyone else, please.

          • Rena 28

            Actually we’d really appreciate if those who vaccinate would stay away from everyone else as vaccines shed for several days. We’re not the ones putting you at risk ( if your vaccines work it shouldn’t be a concern for you) its the other way around. And btw, you failed to mention if you had been vaccinated or not?

          • Anonymous

            No, I’m older than those vaccines.  Obviously you are not.  I did get the polio vaccine as well as the one for smallpox and didn’t get those diseases.  They were rampant in the US also before the vaccines wiped them out.  I really wish you knew your history, not just urban legends.

            And yes, it is a live vaccine, which can possibly infect those with suppressed immune systems, including children.  However, with the numbers of reported cases it is likely that a large number of people walking around are already infected and don’t know it.  Have you read about the New York/New Jersey outbreak that has lasted about two years?

          • Rena 28

            No I am not older than those vaccines, but my mother is and also sees no need to vaccinate ( and yes she did contract all of those illnesses as well.) And perhaps it is you who should brush up on your history; it is impossible for the smallpox vaccine to have wiped out that illness when only 10% of the world’s population had had the vaccine. The decline, as with all others, was due to better nutrition and living conditions. Every illness you mention was well in decline before the vaccines were introduced and in fact, they all experienced a RESURGENCE after vaccines became common.And I would really encourage you to read a vaccine insert; the list of very possible side effects, including death, are far scarier than those from the natural infection. Which can be very effectively treated with natural remedies.

          • Anonymous

            Like I said, Rena, do what you want.  Just stay away from the rest of us when you get sick.

          • Rena 28

            Excellent answer. I shall recover much more quickly than those who have had their immune systems damaged by vaccines.

          • Anonymous

            Good luck.