Temple University administers nearly 5,000 mumps vaccines after two clinics

The mumps, measles and rubella vaccine was given on a walk-in basis to combat the outbreak on Main Campus.

Tom Farley, the commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Health, speaks with reporters on Friday. | DYLAN LONG / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Updated at 5:02 p.m. on March 29

Temple administered 4,819 mumps, measles and rubella booster shots during two vaccination clinics hosted by Philadelphia and university officials, according to the city’s Department of Public Health.

More than 1,000 of those shots were administered by noon on Friday,
said Dr. Thomas Farley, the commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, during a press conference. Nearly 2,300 were given out on Wednesday. There are 108 Temple-related mumps cases, as of Friday, he added.

There are no more walk-in clinics currently scheduled, but Farley said it’s “a decision that we could change in the future if we feel it’s necessary.”

“We have recommended anyone who lives in the dorm at Temple or who has had contact with mumps cases be vaccinated but many of those people may choose to have their vaccine at their own physician or in other places,” Farley said.

Employee and Student Health Services will continue to administer free vaccines to students, faculty and staff who need them, wrote Jim Garrow, communications director for the department, in an email to The Temple News.

Mark Denys, the director of Employee and Student Health Services, told The Temple News on Tuesday that there are 19 students living in on-campus residence halls with the mumps. Farley said that the university is delivering food to these students in their dorms rooms, as incubation is recommended once a person starts showing signs of the mumps to spread further contamination.

What to know about mumps
Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease that can be transmitted via the nose, mouth and throat. Symptoms include swelling of the face and jaw, fever and body pains. The incubation period is 12 to 25 days, and symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after exposure.

Someone with mumps is considered contagious two days before their face swells, through five days after, according to a university release. It’s recommended that people with mumps isolate themselves so they’re less likely to infect other people.

Farley repeated that Temple will likely see reports of new cases of the mumps through the end of the academic year. University officials first announced the outbreak on Feb. 28.

It’s also unlikely that the outbreak will spread to the surrounding North Philadelphia community, Farley said, but he “can’t guarantee” it.

“We would recommend that anyone’s who’s concerned about this check to see whether they were vaccinated,” Farley said. “The recommendation now is for everyone to have two doses of mumps vaccine. If people have not had two doses of mumps vaccine, they should go to their healthcare provider and get updated on their vaccinations.”

According to a university release, there’s no treatment for mumps. But you can relieve symptoms with tactics including:
Taking medication like Tylenol or
Drinking fluids
People who are pregnant
People with illnesses that weaken their immune systems, like AIDS or any form of cancer
Health care personnel
International travelers
People who did not receive two doses of the MMR vaccine as a child
Student Health Services
Pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid
Most primary care physicians and urgent care clinics have the vaccine in stock, according to a university release sent on March 4.

UPDATE: This article was updated to reflect the total number of vaccines administered during this week’s walk-in clinics, and that vaccines are still available for free on Main Campus.

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