Follow CBSPHILLY Facebook | Twitter
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (CBS) — Mumps cases are spreading across the Philadelphia region following an outbreak at Temple University with nearly 100 cases. Mumps cases are now being reported at Drexel University, West Chester University, Abington Senior High School and North Wales Elementary School.
Drexel University announced Friday that a graduate student has contracted the highly-infectious disease.
“The case at Drexel involves a graduate student who lives off-campus,” the university said in a letter to students and staff.
Also on Friday, school officials at Abington Senior High School alerted parents of a suspected case of mumps on campus. The school says they sent a letter out to parents and guardians Thursday after they were notified by the Montgomery County Office of Public Health.
“The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) is currently investigating a student at the Abington Senior High School with a suspected case of mumps,” states the letter.
The school is also asking parents to confirm their child is vaccinated.
“We are asking you to confirm that your child is age-appropriately vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. If they are not age-appropriately immunized, it is recommended that the child receives this vaccination,” the letter reads.
Montgomery County health officials says they are dealing with at least three and probably five suspected new cases of the mumps.
The Office of Public Health, in consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, recommends that all children receive the combined Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 months of age and a second dose between 4 to 6 years of age.
The school advises parents and guardians to contact the Montgomery County Office of Public Health at 610-278-5117 if they have any questions or concerns. You can read the letter in its entirety here.
The latest cases come as a mumps outbreak at Temple University has grown to 93 cases. The growing numbers have prompted an online petition asking for the temporary closure of the campus. The school has since announced they will be offering two walk-in clinics for students, faculty and staff next week.
“It’s just everywhere,” said a student. “I was in my ceramics class yesterday and one of the girls got a text from her roommate saying she got the mumps and I was just like, ‘Please stay away from me.'”
A West Chester University student has also contracted mumps after visiting the Temple campus.
Dr. Eric Sachinwella, an infectious disease physician at Einstein Medical Center, says the hospital has recently treated one patient they confirmed with mumps. He says, though, the disease is not typically deadly. He’s also not surprised of the current number of mumps cases that are quickly spreading.
Part of it is the original patients at Temple do commute a lot, so there is exposure to other places,” said Sachinwella.
Mumps is a viral disease characterized by fever, swelling and tenderness of one or more salivary glands. Mumps is transmitted by saliva droplets or by direct contact with the saliva of an infected person. You can learn more about mumps on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.