College mumps outbreak has widened
SUNY New Paltz now says there have been 21 confirmed cases of mumps on campus and that the college also is tracking an unspecified number of unconfirmed cases, including one in a New Paltz High School student.
The college said on its website that the high schooler had been in close contact with a SUNY student.
The high schooler also has been in close contact with a New Paltz Middle School student and a Duzine Elementary School student, the college said, so New Paltz school district officials “have notified students, staff and parents ... that they may be at risk of exposure to mumps.”
School district Superintendent Maria Rice said Tuesday that the district has been taking precautions recommended by the Ulster County Health Department since the high school student’s probable case was reported Nov. 15.
Rice also said she is in contact with the nurses in the district’s schools every day.
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. Other symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and decreased appetite.
Mumps is transmitted through close contact, sharing of utensils, drinking glasses and saliva contact through kissing.
The mumps problem at SUNY New Paltz began late last month with eight cases, and because it affected members of the intercollegiate swim team, the campus pool was shut down for two days and swim meets for the remainder of the semester were canceled. Also, 20 students who had not been immunized were sent home until Dec. 17.
Rice said there have been no changes in the high school athletic schedule or procedures.