PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The mumps outbreak on the campus of Temple University has reached the triple digits. Officials are dealing with dozens of new suspected cases, while thousands are getting free vaccines offered by the school.
Temple had a second free vaccine clinic Friday. Officials say over that over two clinics 4,819 received a booster shot.
“We hope to eventually stop this outbreak,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.
Officials are having a tough time containing the outbreak, which started in February. The vaccine that people get as children can wear off, which is why Temple is considering recommending all students get the booster.
“It’s just really scary to me so I decided to go and get it,” one student said.
Transmitted through saliva, mumps is easily spread on campus with students in close contact with one another. And because symptoms can take a long time to show up, the virus that causes flu-like symptoms and a swollen neck, is being spread unknowingly.
“Mumps has an incubation period of, on average, 16 to 18 days and can be as long as 25 days,” Dr. Farley said. “So we do expect the cases of mumps will continue to happen at Temple, even if everything we’re doing here is completely effective.”
Dr. Farley also says the outbreak at Temple is not a threat to the general public.