Pool re­opens af­ter mumps caused shut­down

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Free­man staff

NEW PALTZ >> The pool in the Elt­ing Gym at SUNY New Paltz has re­opened to the public af­ter be­ing closed for two days due to eight mumps cases among mem­bers of the school’s in­ter­col­le­giate swim­ming pro­gram.

The mumps cases were con­firmed by the Stu­dent Health Ser­vice, ac­cord­ing to a let­ter to users of the school’s ath­letic fa­cil­i­ties and a col­lege spokes­woman.

The Stu­dent Health Ser­vice re­ported five cases of mumps on cam­pus as of last Wed­nes­day, though col­lege spokes­woman Melissa Kaczmarek said Tues­day that the to­tal was eight.

The pool was shut down last Wed­nes­day and re­opened to the public Fri­day, though Kaczmarek said mem­bers of the swim team still are barred from using it.

“It has also been brought to our at­ten­tion that these cases have come from our in­ter­col­le­giate swim­ming pro­gram,” stated a let­ter from the Stu­dent Health Ser­vice to users of the fa­cil­ity.

“Out of an abun­dance of cau­tion,” the let­ter states, “all swim prac­tices and work­outs are sus­pended ... to al­low for time to see if there are any more con­firmed cases from other mem­bers of the pro­gram.”

The let­ter stated that, ac­cord­ing the state Depart­ment of Health, “we do not need to close the pool in­def­i­nitely and there is min­i­mal risk of trans­mis­sion. But we have dis­al­lowed any cur­rent mem­bers of the swim­ming pro­gram to serve as life­guards, par­tic­i­pate in gen­eral aquat­ics pro­gram­ming or in­ter­face with any of the con­tracted groups for the time be­ing.”

SUNY New Paltz stu­dents are re­quired to pro­vide doc­u­men­ta­tion of two measles, one rubella and one mumps im­mu­niza­tion, or pro­vide doc­u­men­ta­tion of a re­li­gious or other ex­emp­tion.

Mumps is a res­pi­ra­tory virus, the symp­toms of which “in­clude painful swelling of the sali­vary glands near the ears and un­der the jaw, which can oc­cur on one or both sides of the face,” the let­ter states. “This swelling may be as­so­ci­ated with other non­spe­cific symp­toms, such as fever, headache, mus­cle aches, fa­tigue and de­creased ap­petite.”

The af­fected stu­dents were iso­lated, and some who had not been im­mu­nized against mumps were sent home, ac­cord­ing to the let­ter.

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