Confirmed cases of mumps reported at Elon

UPDATED MONDAY, DECEMBER 9: Read this message sent to the Elon community about a recent case of the mumps confirmed at Elon.

Below is the text of messages sent to the Elon campus community regarding the recent confirmation of cases of mumps. 


Message from Monday, Dec. 9, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Last week the Alamance County Health Department confirmed two additional cases of mumps in Elon students, which brings our total number of confirmed cases to 13.

Our thanks to the students, faculty, and staff who followed the advice of health department officials and received an additional MMR vaccination at one of the six MMR clinics held on campus this fall. The Alamance County Health Department has administered 2,261 vaccinations to members of the Elon community this fall. The Alamance County Health Department still recommends that individuals who have not previously had mumps receive a third MMR shot to further reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus.

If you did not take advantage of an earlier open MMR vaccine clinic, at this point, additional options for vaccination include:

  • Vaccination at the Alamance County Health Department, located on the first floor of the Alamance County Human Services Center, 319 N. Graham-Hopedale Rd., Burlington, NC 27217. Call the health department at 336-570-6459 to schedule an appointment.
  • Vaccination at a pharmacy of your choice. Students, faculty, and staff can drop by the front desk at Student Health Services to pick up a written prescription to present to the pharmacy. You should also take your insurance card with you to the pharmacy; there may be out-of-pocket costs.
  • Vaccination through your primary care physician.

Students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps this week should immediately make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone at (336) 278-7230 during regular operating hours. Please note that Student Health Services will be closed for the Winter Break, starting at 4:00 this Friday, December 13, and reopening Wednesday, January 2.

As we move into the Winter Break, there are several important considerations for the next few weeks:

  • If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with mumps, it is important to immediately see a health care provider for evaluation, even if you are not on campus or in the area. You should also immediately limit your exposure to others until you have been evaluated.
  • Individuals with a suspected or probable case of the mumps should plan to isolate away from others for five days from the onset of their symptoms. This means no traveling on public or mass transit (airplane, train or bus), being in restaurants, going to parties/social gatherings or being in any public spaces.

For students who will be remaining on or near campus over Winter Break, when Student Health Services is closed:

  • Students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps should seek medical treatment at a local urgent care or at the Alamance County Regional Medical Center (ARMC) emergency department. The medical provider should already be aware of the recent mumps activity on campus and will contact the Alamance County Health Department immediately to determine whether testing is advised and to receive additional instructions.
  • The Alamance County Health Department will notify university staff and we will have someone contact you about next steps. We have Student Life administrators on call for the duration of the break, even when the university is closed, to assist students.

For students who may begin to experience symptoms while traveling outside the local area:

  • Students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps while on break should seek medical treatment at their primary care provider, local urgent care, or their local hospital emergency department. Please advise the medical staff that you are an Elon University student and there have been confirmed mumps cases on campus this fall. The medical provider should follow their county’s normal notification protocols.
  • We also ask that you contact the Elon Student Life senior administrator on call, available by calling Campus Safety and Police at (336) 278-5555, so that we may coordinate any additional support you may need once you return to campus.

The previous university email updates include responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps, how it is spread, and symptoms. You can find this information, with all previous messages to the Elon community here.  If you have any general questions not answered there, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions this week should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider.

Our next regularly scheduled email update will be sent Monday, December 30, unless there are significant new developments before that time.

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life

jdooley4@elon.edu


Message from Monday, Dec. 2, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Last week the Alamance County Health Department confirmed an additional case of mumps in an Elon student, which brings our total number of confirmed cases to 11.

We remain fortunate that the number of confirmed cases at Elon is not rising as quickly as at other institutions in our region experiencing mumps cases this fall and we appreciate the vigilance of our community.

The Alamance County Health Department has scheduled another drop-in MMR vaccination clinic Wednesday, December 4, beginning at 1:30 p.m, in the Moseley Center, McKinnon Hall.  The clinic will run until the available supply of vaccine has been depleted, or until 5:00 p.m., whichever occurs first.  If there is high participation in the clinic, be advised that there could be longer wait-times.

The university and health department strongly recommend that individuals who have already received two doses of the MMR vaccine receive a third dose, which will further reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus. This recommendation is consistent with Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for preventing the spread of mumps in a situation like the one we are experiencing. The CDC website offers a link to a helpful fact sheet on mumps: https://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4211.pdf

As we move into the final weeks of the semester, please continue to follow the advice of health professionals by:

  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoiding sharing objects that might have saliva on them, like water bottles, cups,  cigarettes, or other nicotine devices.
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, tables, counters.

Students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps should immediately make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone at (336) 278-7230 during regular operating hours.

The previous university email updates include responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps, how it is spread, and symptoms. You can find this information, with all previous messages to the Elon community here.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

Our next regularly scheduled email update will be sent next Monday afternoon, December 9.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life
jdooley4@elon.edu


Message from Monday, November 18, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The number of confirmed mumps cases at the university remains at ten.  There have been no reports of suspected or probable cases in the past week.

Our thanks to the students, faculty, and staff who chose to follow the advice of health department officials and receive an additional MMR vaccination at last week’s drop-in clinic, or one of the previous clinics held on campus.  To date, the Alamance County Health Department has administered 2,154 vaccinations to members of the Elon community.  The Health Department will be administering MMR vaccinations at Student Health Services on Tuesday and Thursday this week – call 336-278-7230 to make an appointment

Students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps this week should immediately make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone at (336) 278-7230 during regular operating hours.  Please note that Student Health Services will be closed for the Thanksgiving Break, starting at 4:00 this Friday, November 22, and reopening Monday, December 2.

As we move into the Thanksgiving holiday break, there are several important considerations for the next two weeks:

If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with mumps, it is important to immediately see a health care provider for evaluation, even if you are not on campus or in the area. You should also immediately limit your exposure to others until you have been evaluated.

Individuals with a suspected or probable case of the mumps should plan to isolate away from others for five days from the onset of their symptoms.  This means no traveling on public or mass transit (airplane, train or bus), being in restaurants, going to parties/social gatherings or being in any public spaces.

For students who will be remaining on or near campus next week:

Student Health Services is closed next week.  Students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps should seek medical treatment at a local urgent care or at the Alamance County Regional Medical Center (ARMC) emergency department. The medical provider should already be aware of the recent mumps activity on campus and will contact the Alamance County Health Department immediately to determine whether testing is advised and to receive additional instructions. The Alamance County Health Department will notify university staff and we will have someone contact you about next steps.  We have Student Life administrators on call all of next week, even when the university is closed, to assist students.

For students who may begin to experience symptoms while traveling outside the local area:

Students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps while on break should seek medical treatment at their primary care provider, local urgent care, or their local hospital emergency department. Please advise the medical staff that you are an Elon University student and there have been confirmed mumps cases on campus this fall. The medical provider should follow their county’s normal notification protocols.  We also ask that you contact the Elon Student Life senior administrator on call by contacting Campus Safety and Police at (336) 278-5555 so that we may coordinate any additional support you may need once you return to campus.

My previous email updates include responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps, how it is spread, and symptoms. You can also find all previous messages to the Elon community here.  General questions about this situation can be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions this week should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Students, faculty and staff with medical questions over the break should contact their primary care provider.

My next regularly scheduled email update will be sent in two weeks – Monday, December 2 – unless there are new developments before that time.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life
jdooley4@elon.edu


Message from Monday, November 11, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As a reminder, the Alamance County Health Department has scheduled another drop-in MMR vaccination clinic Wednesday, November 13, beginning at 2:00 p.m, in Alumni Gym.  The clinic will run until the available supply of vaccine has been depleted, or until 6:00 p.m., whichever occurs first.  Please note: if there is high participation in the clinic, be advised that there could be longer wait-times.

The university and health department strongly recommend that individuals who have already received two doses of the MMR vaccine receive a third dose, which will further reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus. This recommendation is consistent with Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for preventing the spread of mumps in a situation like the one we are experiencing. The CDC website offers a link to a helpful fact sheet on mumps: https://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4211.pdf

The number of confirmed mumps cases remains at 10, although there have been three probable cases reported to the university since my last email update on Thursday, November 7.  When a suspected or probable case is identified, self-isolation is required until the person is no longer contagious. The Dean of Students office supports those students and also notifies classmates, roommates, and others who may have been in close proximity to the person.

My previous email updates include responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps, how it is spread, and symptoms. You can also find all previous messages to the Elon community here.  Students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps should immediately make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone at (336) 278-7230 during regular operating hours.

The university continues to work with the local health department to confirm suspected or probable cases and also provide vaccination for students, faculty, and staff. To date, Alamance County Health Department has provided 1,711 MMR vaccinations through vaccine clinics and Student Health Services.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

Unless there are new developments this week, my next regularly scheduled email update will be sent next Monday afternoon, November 18.

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life

jdooley4@elon.edu


Message from Thursday, November 7, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We have worked with the Alamance County Health Department to schedule another drop-in MMR vaccination clinic next Wednesday, November 13, beginning at 2:00 p.m, in Alumni Gym.  The clinic will run until the available supply of vaccine has been depleted, or until 6:00 p.m., whichever occurs first.

This week the health department administered 556 doses of MMR vaccine to Elon students, faculty, and staff, bringing the total number of individuals given an additional MMR shot on campus this fall to 1,711.

My previous email updates include responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps. You can also find all previous messages to the Elon community here.  If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

Students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps should immediately make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone at (336) 278-7230 during regular operating hours.

My next regularly scheduled email update will be sent Monday afternoon.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life
jdooley4@elon.edu


Message from Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Today’s MMR vaccine clinic was much more successful than anticipated. As of this time, the Alamance County Health Department has depleted its supply of available vaccines, after administering more than 500 doses – substantially more than any of the other clinics this fall.

We appreciate the partnership with health department officials, who worked diligently today to identify as many additional doses from the region as they could. We will be working with them to schedule another clinic on campus as soon as the supply can be renewed. I will update you no later than Friday afternoon once we have additional information.

In the meantime, proper prevention measures will continue to reduce your chances of contracting the mumps virus:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid sharing objects that might have saliva on them, like water bottles, cups, cigarettes, or other nicotine devices.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, tables, counters. Elon Environmental Services staff normally uses disinfectant in their regular cleaning and this time of year.  They have already begun their routine of increasing the application of disinfectant on common contact surfaces and are being particularly vigilant about this part of their cleaning.
  • Regularly use the hand sanitizer stations in place at every building.

Students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps should immediately make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone at (336) 278-7230 during regular operating hours.

My previous email updates include responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps. You can also find all previous messages to the community here.  If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

Thank you for those who have continued to help us keep our Elon community healthy and safe.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life
jdooley4@elon.edu


Message from Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Dear Students,

This update is coming outside the cycle for normal weekly updates regarding mumps, and I ask for your attention and careful reading of the information.

Since yesterday’s email update, the health department and university have confirmed two new cases of mumps bringing our confirmed number of cases to ten. Most of those previous cases are no longer contagious, and we work closely with students who are diagnosed, as well as their roommates and classmates, to provide information and guidance regarding prevention and treatment of symptoms.

Although we are fortunate that the number of confirmed cases at Elon is not rising as quickly as at other institutions in our region experiencing mumps cases this fall, we are asking for the continued vigilance of our community.

Note that most of the cases at these institutions, as well as at Elon, are among individuals who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine. The university and health department strongly recommend that individuals who have already received two doses of the MMR vaccine receive a third dose, which will further reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus. This recommendation is consistent with Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for preventing the spread of mumps in a situation like the one we are experiencing. The CDC website offers a link to a helpful fact sheet on mumps: https://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4211.pdf

Elon is working with the Alamance County Health Department to hold another drop-in MMR vaccine clinic tomorrow, Wednesday, November 6, from 2:00-6:30pm in Alumni Gym. The clinic is open to all students, faculty, and staff.

As communicated previously, students who are exhibiting symptoms of mumps should immediately make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone at (336) 278-7230 during regular operating hours or online at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments/.

The university has been working very closely with public health officials and to make decisions with their guidance. The university will continue to operate normally and there are no plans to change the schedule of classes or activities, regardless of the number of positive mumps cases.

My previous email updates include responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps. You can also find all previous messages to the community here.  If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

As previously planned, we will send another community update regarding mumps next Monday afternoon, November 11.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life
jdooley4@elon.edu


Message from Monday, November 4, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Over the past week the university has learned of one additional case of mumps that was confirmed out of state while a student was home on Fall Break. This brings our confirmed number of cases to eight.

The community is reminded that individuals may be contagious with mumps even before symptoms commence. The Center for Communicable Diseases (CDC) advises that the incubation period is 12 to 25 days, but symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after exposure.

As we’ve stated in previous updates, it is also important to remember that individuals who have received the recommended two doses of MMR vaccine can still contract the mumps virus. For these reasons, students, faculty, and staff are asked to follow the recommendations of health department officials.

Review the information in the frequently asked questions below about the symptoms of mumps.  Students who are exhibiting these symptoms should immediately make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone during regular operating hours or online at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments/.

The university and county health department strongly recommend that students, faculty, and staff who have not received a third dose of the MMR vaccine consider doing so.  To date, Alamance County Health Department has provided 1,155 MMR vaccinations through the drop-in vaccine clinics and by appointment at Student Health Services.

Options for receiving an additional dose of the MMR vaccine include:

Vaccination at Student Health Services, offered to students, faculty, and staff at no cost.  The health department is administering vaccinations by appointment Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings through Thursday, November 14. Call Student Health Services at 336-278-7230 to schedule an appointment.

Vaccination at the Alamance County Health Department, located on the first floor of the Alamance County Human Services Center, 319 N. Graham-Hopedale Rd., Burlington, NC 27217.  Call the health department at 336-570-6459 to schedule an appointment.

Vaccination at a pharmacy of your choice. Students, faculty, and staff can drop by the front desk at Student Health Services to pick up a written prescription to present to the pharmacy. You should also take your insurance card with you to the pharmacy; there may be out-of-pocket costs.

Vaccination through your primary care physician.

Responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps can be found below.  If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

We will send another community update regarding mumps next Monday afternoon, November 11.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life
jdooley4@elon.edu

____

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mumps and what are the symptoms?
Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. Mumps can be serious, but most people with mumps recover completely within two weeks. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands, which causes puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Others may feel extremely ill and be unable to eat because of jaw pain, and a few will develop serious complications.

How is mumps spread?
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or talking; sharing items that may have saliva on them, such as water bottles or cups; participating in close-contact activities with others, such as playing sports, dancing, or kissing; or touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.

When is someone contagious?
An infected person can likely spread mumps from a few days before their salivary glands begin to swell to up to five days after the swelling begins. A person with mumps should limit their contact with others during this time. Generally, the incubation period is about 25 days from the on-set of symptoms.

How can we help prevent the spread of mumps on campus?
The recommendations for reducing the spread of mumps is similar to the steps we take to avoid the flu.  You can help prevent these viruses from spreading by:

Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.

Washing your hands often with soap and water.

Avoiding sharing objects that might have saliva on them, like water bottles, cups,  cigarettes, or other nicotine devices.

Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, tables, counters.

We encourage you to regularly use the hand sanitizer stations in place at every building. Environmental Services staff normally uses disinfectant in their regular cleaning and this time of year.  They have already begun their routine of increasing the application of disinfectant on common contact surfaces and are being particularly vigilant about this part of their cleaning.

How is mumps treated?
Management for mumps is similar to the flu. There is no treatment, only symptomatic relief. Take Motrin or Tylenol for fever and swelling, drink fluids and get plenty of rest. One of the most important steps you can take if you experience symptoms is to self-isolate, avoid travel and limit contact with others for five days from the onset of symptoms. For healthy people, there is very little risk of serious complications from the mumps.

How can I verify my immunization status?
In addition to checking with your family or primary care physician, students can verify their immunization records on file with the university via the PhoenixHealth patient portal.

Is it safe to visit Elon University?
Yes, it is safe to visit campus. Mumps is spread through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets. Casual contact, such as visiting campus, offers minimal risk.

I heard a rumor that Elon may close the university if there are additional confirmed cases.
We are aware of this rumor, and it is false. There have been no conversations about cancelling classes or closing campus. These steps would only occur if the number of cases made it impossible for the university to function operationally. By comparison, Temple University experienced more than 170 confirmed or probable mumps cases last spring and did not cancel classes or close the university. The best measure to prevent the spread of mumps is to follow the recommendations outlined above.

Can Residence Life help with a room change to prevent close contact with a symptomatic person?
Yes, students in residence halls who are concerned about contracting mumps from a symptomatic roommate or suitemate are encouraged to contact Residence Life at 336-278-7300 about a temporary room change.

What if I have been exposed to someone?
The university continues to work very closely with the Alamance County Health Department to identify and communicate with anyone who may have been in close contact with confirmed or probable cases of mumps. If you have questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.  The number for Student Health Services is 336-278-7230 and the number for the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic is 336-278-5569.


Message from Monday, October 28, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The Alamance County Health Department has confirmed a new case of mumps at the university, bringing our confirmed number of cases to seven. The individual has been in self-isolation since visiting Student Health Services with symptoms.

The community is reminded that individuals may be contagious with mumps even before symptoms commence.  Students, faculty, and staff are asked to remain attentive to the recommendations we’ve provided below.

Students who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with mumps should make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone during regular operating hours or online at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments/.

The university continues to work with the local health department to identify those with potential symptoms and also provide vaccination for students, faculty, and staff. To date, Alamance County Health Department has provided 895 MMR vaccinations through vaccine clinics and Student Health Services.

An additional MMR vaccination clinic will be set up on campus Tuesday afternoon, October 29, from 12:30 to 5:00 pm at South Gym.  Students, faculty, and staff can drop in for a free MMR vaccination at any time during the clinic. The university and county health department strongly recommend that students, faculty, or staff who have not received a third dose of the MMR vaccine consider doing so.

Additional options for receiving an additional dose of the MMR vaccine include:

Vaccination at Student Health Services, offered to students, faculty, and staff at no cost.  The health department is administering vaccinations by appointment Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. Although this was anticipated to run through the month of October, the vaccinations have been extended to occur through Thursday, November 14. Call Student Health Services at 336-278-7230 to schedule an appointment.

Vaccination at the Alamance County Health Department, located on the first floor of the Alamance County Human Services Center, 319 N. Graham-Hopedale Rd., Burlington, NC 27217.  Call the health department at 336-570-6459 to schedule an appointment.

Vaccination at a pharmacy of your choice, either in the area or while you are home for Fall Break. Students, faculty, and staff can drop by the front desk at Student Health Services to pick up a written prescription to present to the pharmacy. You should also take your insurance card with you to the pharmacy; there may be out-of-pocket costs.

Vaccination through your primary care physician.

Responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps can be found below.  If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

We will send another community update regarding mumps next Monday afternoon, November 4.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life
jdooley4@elon.edu


Message from Monday, October 21, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

For the second week in a row I am glad to report there have been no new confirmed cases of mumps at Elon. Our number of confirmed cases remains at six.

Given the incubation period of the virus, it is still possible that we could see additional suspected or confirmed cases, so we continue to ask students, faculty, and staff to remain attentive to the recommendations we’ve provided. Students who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with mumps should make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone during regular operating hours or online at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments/.

In addition to MMR vaccinations to prevent the mumps, we are at the time of year when flu vaccinations are important as we begin the flu season. In addition to the MMR clinics, there will be flu vaccination clinics in the coming weeks.

MMR Vaccination
The health department continues to recommend that students, faculty, or staff who have not received a third dose of the MMR vaccine consider doing so. Options for receiving the vaccine include:

Vaccination at Student Health Services, offered to students, faculty, and staff at no cost.  The health department is administering vaccinations by appointment Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings through the month of October.  Call Student Health Services at 336-278-7230 to schedule an appointment.

Vaccination at the Alamance County Health Department, located on the first floor of the Alamance County Human Services Center, 319 N. Graham-Hopedale Rd., Burlington, NC 27217.  Call the health department at 336-570-6459 to schedule an appointment.

Vaccination at a pharmacy of your choice, either in the area or while you are home for Fall Break. Students, faculty, and staff can drop by the front desk at Student Health Services to pick up a written prescription to present to the pharmacy. You should also take your insurance card with you to the pharmacy; there may be out-of-pocket costs.

Vaccination through your primary care physician.

Flu Vaccination
The influenza virus is spread very similarly to the mumps, so the recommendations in the FAQ’s below for avoiding mumps apply to preventing the flu as well.

Students are strongly recommended to receive their annual flu vaccine in the coming weeks.  Upcoming on-campus flu clinics for students will be held as follows:

Tuesday, October 22, 3:00-7:00 pm, Moseley Student Center, first floor Ward Octagon Room

Wednesday, October 30, 2:00-6:00 pm, Koury Athletic Center Concourse (outside Alumni Gym)

Tuesday, November 5, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Moseley Student Center, room 216

Faculty and staff should consult their email from Belinda Day earlier this morning for information about the upcoming flu clinics for Elon staff and faculty.

Questions about Mumps
Responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps can be found below.  If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

I will send what we hope to be the last community update regarding mumps next Monday afternoon, October 28.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life
jdooley4@elon.edu

 

Message from Monday, October 14, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am pleased to report that there have been no new confirmed cases of mumps at Elon since my email update last Monday, so our number of confirmed cases remains at six.

Given the incubation period of the virus, it is still possible that we could see additional suspected or confirmed cases, so we continue to ask students, faculty, and staff to remain attentive to the recommendations we’ve provided.

Students who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with mumps should make an appointment with Student Health Services by phone during regular operating hours or online at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments/.

The health department continues to recommend that students, faculty, or staff who have not received a third dose of the MMR vaccine consider doing so. Options for receiving the vaccine include:

Vaccination at Student Health Services, offered to students, faculty, and staff at no cost.  The health department is administering vaccinations by appointment Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings through the month of October.  Call Student Health Services at 336-278-7230 to schedule an appointment.

Vaccination at the Alamance County Health Department, located on the first floor of the Alamance County Human Services Center, 319 N. Graham-Hopedale Rd., Burlington, NC 27217.  Call the health department at 336-570-6459 to schedule an appointment.

Vaccination at a pharmacy of your choice, either in the area or while you are home for Fall Break. Students, faculty, and staff can drop by the front desk at Student Health Services to pick up a written prescription to present to the pharmacy. You should also take your insurance card with you to the pharmacy; there may be out-of-pocket costs.

Vaccination through your primary care physician.

Between the open clinics held on campus and vaccinations given at Student Health Services, 876  individuals have received  an additional dose of MMR vaccine, which further reduces the risk of contracting mumps and is recommended by health officials in a situation such as this.

Responses to some of the frequently asked questions about mumps can be found below.  If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

We will send the next community update Monday afternoon, October 21.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life
jdooley4@elon.edu


Message from Monday, October 7, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

In the time since our last email update on Wednesday, October 2, three additional cases have tested positive for mumps, bringing our total number of confirmed cases to six. However, there have been no other additional suspected cases during that time.

We continue to work with the local health department on vaccinations and identifying and assessing possible new cases.  Students who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with mumps should make an appointment with Student Health Services online at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments/ or by phone during regular operating hours.

Throughout the month of October the health department will work with the university to offer MMR vaccinations to Elon students, faculty, and staff at Student Health Services by appointment. Vaccination appointments can be made by calling 336-278-7230 during operational hours. Between the open clinics held on campus and vaccinations given at Student Health Services, nearly 800 individuals have received  an additional dose of MMR vaccine, which further reduces the risk of contracting mumps and is recommended by health officials in a situation like the one we are experiencing.

Responses to some of the frequently asked questions can be found below.  If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230. Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

We will send the next community update Monday afternoon, October 14.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life
jdooley4@elon.edu


Message from Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

In the time since our last update on Monday, two additional cases have tested positive, bringing our total number of confirmed cases of mumps to three. We continue to work with the local health department to identify and assess individuals who are showing possible symptoms of mumps.

We will shift our community-wide updates about this situation to a weekly email – expect the update messages from me on Monday afternoons.

MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination

Nearly all students at Elon have had two doses of the combination vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), which remains the most effective prevention for mumps infection. However, they do not guarantee full immunity – a person with two doses of MMR vaccine has about an 88% reduction in risk for mumps.  A third additional dose of the MMR vaccine does further reduce the risk and is recommended by health officials in a situation like the one we are experiencing.

The health department conducted two MMR vaccination clinics on campus within the past week, serving a total of 749 individuals.  Beginning Thursday, October 3, the health department will work with the university to offer MMR vaccinations to students at the Ellington Health Center by appointment throughout the month of October. Appointments to receive the MMR vaccine can be made by calling 336-278-7230 during operational hours, (Mo-Th, 8:30am-6pm; Fr. 8:30am-4:00pm, Sa-Su, 9am-1pm).

If you are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the mumps, you should schedule a regular appointment with Student Health Services, either online or by phone.

Keep in mind, an additional dose of MMR vaccine will not prevent individuals from getting mumps if they have already been exposed, but will better protect them in the future.

Preventing spread of the mumps virus
It is important to remember that mumps is a virus, transmitted very similarly to the flu or other diseases spread by droplets in the air. Advice for helping control the spread of viruses is found in the original email below and on the NC Department of Health and Human Services website: https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/diseases/infection_control.html

The recommendations for reducing the spread of mumps is similar to the steps we take to avoid the flu.  You can help prevent these viruses from spreading by:

  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoiding sharing objects that might have saliva on them, like water bottles or cups.  Do not share drinks, cigarettes, or other nicotine devices.
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, tables, counters.

We encourage you to regularly use the hand sanitizer stations in place at every building. Environmental Services staff normally uses disinfectant in their regular cleaning and this time of year.  They have already begun their routine of increasing the application of disinfectant on common contact surfaces and are being particularly vigilant about this part of their cleaning.

Who to contact with questions
Responses to some of the frequently asked questions can be found below.  If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230.   Students who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with mumps should make an appointment with Student Health Services online at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments/ or by phone during regular operating hours.

Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

Your health and well-being are a top priority for us, so please let us know how we can assist.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life


Message from Monday, Sept. 30, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We continue to have only one confirmed case of mumps on campus.  The four suspected cases last week have all initially tested negative, but continue to be considered “probable cases” per local and state public health guidelines. Over the weekend there were two additional suspected cases identified and referred to the health department for initial confirmatory testing, but those initial results are not yet available.

As we informed you last Friday, the health department will be working with the university to host an additional MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination clinic tomorrow, Tuesday, October 1, on campus at South Gym.  From 12:30-2:00 p.m. vaccines will be available for those students, faculty, and staff who receive a notification from the Office of the Dean of Students, in accordance with health department protocols. From 2:00-5:00 p.m., while supplies last, the clinic will be open to any Elon student, faculty, or staff member.

Keep in mind, an additional dose of MMR vaccine will not prevent individuals from getting mumps if they have already been exposed, but will better protect them in the future.

Beginning Thursday, October 3, the health department will work with the university to offer MMR vaccinations to students at the Ellington Health Center, by appointment, through the month of October.   Students can make appointments by calling 336-278-7230 during operational hours or online at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments.

It is important to remember that mumps is a virus, transmitted very similarly to the flu or other diseases spread by droplets in the air. Advice for helping control the spread of viruses is found in the original email below and on the NC Department of Health and Human Services website: https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/diseases/infection_control.html

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.  Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230.   Students who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with mumps should make an appointment with Student Health Services online at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments/ or by phone during regular operating hours.

Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life


Message from Friday, Sept. 27, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We continue to have only one confirmed case of mumps on campus. The initial testing of the two suspected cases was negative. However, consistent with local and state guidance, these two cases will remain probable cases due to individuals displaying symptoms consistent with mumps.

Yesterday we also became aware of two additional suspected cases. These cases have not been confirmed and have been referred to the health department for initial confirmatory testing.

Yesterday the health department administered 476 doses of MMR vaccine to students, faculty, and staff who met the state notification protocol regarding potential contact with cases that were confirmed or suspected at that time.

The health department will be working with the university to host an additional MMR vaccination clinic next Tuesday, October 1.  From 12:30-2:00 p.m. vaccines will be available for those students, faculty, and staff who receive a notification from the Office of the Dean of Students, in accordance with health department protocols. From 2:00-5:00 p.m., while supplies last, the clinic will be open to any Elon student, faculty, or staff member.

Keep in mind, an additional dose of MMR vaccine will not prevent individuals from getting mumps if they have already been exposed, but will better protect them in the future.

Beginning Thursday, October 4, the health department will work with the university to offer MMR vaccinations to students at the Ellington Health Center, by appointment, through the month of October.  Students will receive additional information about this program via email next week.

The advice and information from health department officials found below continues to be accurate. We know that this is Family Weekend and we will also be welcoming many visitors to campus for Fall Convocation and the Elon-JMU football game.  There is no need to alter standard operations or events.

It is important to remember that mumps is a virus, transmitted very similarly to the flu or other diseases spread by droplets in the air. Advice for helping control the spread of viruses is found in the original email below and on the NC Department of Health and Human Services website: https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/diseases/infection_control.html

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.  Students with medical questions should contact Student Health Services at 336-278-7230.   Students who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with mumps should make an appointment with Student Health Services online at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments/ or by phone during regular operating hours.

Faculty and staff with medical questions should contact their primary care provider or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569.

We do not plan to send an additional update email until next Monday afternoon, unless the situation should change significantly over the weekend.


Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life


Message from Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019

Subject: Wednesday update re: Community Notification – Confirmed Case of Mumps

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am writing to update you regarding yesterday’s email about the confirmed case of mumps. The university and local health department have contacted 814 students and 52 faculty and staff who had been in direct contact with the affected student and/or their roommates (classmates, organization members, etc.), inviting them to a vaccine clinic tomorrow to receive an additional dose of the MMR vaccine. As noted in the original email, copied below, the additional dose will not prevent individuals from getting mumps if they have already been exposed, but will better protect them in the future.

Today, we became aware of an undergraduate student and a graduate faculty member with symptoms consistent with mumps. This information was promptly shared with local health department officials. Although there is not a confirmed diagnosis for either of these cases, out of an abundance of caution the university and local health department will be reaching out to additional students, faculty and staff who may have been in contact with these individuals to invite them to also participate in tomorrow’s vaccine clinic.

The advice and information from health department officials found below continues to be accurate. There is no need to alter standard operations or events.

Should you have additional questions, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200. Students who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with mumps should make an appointment with Student Health Services. Appointments can be made by calling 336-278-7230 during operational hours or online any time at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments.

We will continue to keep you informed with additional information if necessary.

Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life


Message from Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019

Subject: Community Notification – Confirmed Case of Mumps

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

In collaboration with the regional Cone Health network, the Alamance County Health Department, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Elon University has confirmed a single case of mumps in an undergraduate student. Student Health Services identified the case and promptly notified the local health department. At this time, we are not aware of any additional unconfirmed or suspected cases at the university.

Mumps diagnoses have occurred recently on several other college campuses and Elon is working with the local and state health departments to follow well-established protocols to care for this student and to prevent additional cases. At this time, the health department has determined the student is no longer contagious.

MMR vaccines are the most effective prevention for mumps infection. However, they do not guarantee full immunity – a person with two doses of MMR vaccine has about an 88% reduction in risk for mumps. Elon enforces the State of North Carolina requirement that all incoming students provide evidence of two vaccinations against mumps or proof of immunity against mumps. Nearly all students at Elon have had both of their mumps vaccines, which are administered as a combination vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) as part of the childhood recommended vaccines.

Mumps can be serious, but most people with mumps recover completely within two weeks. While infected with mumps, many people feel tired and achy, have a fever, and swollen salivary glands on the side of the face. Others may feel extremely ill and be unable to eat because of jaw pain, and a few will develop serious complications.

Additional health information and responses to frequently asked questions can be found below.

Out of an abundance of caution, the university will be working with the local and state health departments to reach out to the individuals who are known to have been in direct contact with the affected student (classmates, roommates, etc.) and invite them to receive a third MMR dose at a vaccine clinic later this week. The third dose will not prevent individuals from getting mumps if they have already been exposed, but will better protect them in the future.

The local and state health departments have advised that there is no need to alter standard operations or events. In order to prevent the spread of mumps and in general many illnesses:

  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoiding sharing objects that might have saliva on them, like water bottles or cups.
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters.

In addition to the information provided below, should you have additional questions, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200. Students who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with mumps should make an appointment with Student Health Services. Appointments can be made by calling 336-278-7230 during operational hours or online any time at https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/health-services/appointments/.

The health and well-being of the Elon community remains a top priority. The university will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional information as necessary.

Dr. Jon Dooley
Vice President for Student Life

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is mumps and what are the symptoms?

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands. This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.

How is mumps spread?

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or talking; sharing items that may have saliva on them, such as water bottles or cups; participating in close-contact activities with others, such as playing sports, dancing, or kissing; or touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.

When is someone contagious?

An infected person can likely spread mumps from a few days before their salivary glands begin to swell to up to five days after the swelling begins. A person with mumps should limit their contact with others during this time.

How is mumps treated?

Management for mumps is similar to the flu. There is no treatment, only symptomatic relief. Take Motrin or Tylenol for fever and swelling, drink fluids and get plenty of rest. One of the most important steps you can take if you experience symptoms is to self-isolate, avoid travel and limit contact with others for five days from the onset of symptoms. For healthy people, there is very little risk of serious complications from the mumps.

 

How can I verify my immunization status?

In addition to checking with your family or primary care physician, students can verify their immunization records on file with the university via the PhoenixHealth patient portal.

Is it safe to visit Elon for Family Weekend or admissions tours?

Yes, it is safe to visit campus. Mumps is spread through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets. Casual contact, such as visiting campus, offers minimal risk.

Can Residence Life help with a room change to prevent close contact with a symptomatic person?

Yes, students in residence halls who are concerned about contracting mumps from a symptomatic roommate or suitemate are encouraged to contact Residence Life at 336-278-7300 about a temporary room change.

What if I have been exposed to someone?

The university remains in close contact with the Alamance County Health Department, to identify and communicate with anyone who may have been in close contact with the affected student. If you have questions, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200 or Student Health Services at 336-278-7230.