Marquette investigates second case of highly-contagious mumps

CREATED Oct. 1, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - A major health concern has hit the Marquette University campus after officials confirmed a second case of mumps there.

It doesn't take much for the highly-contagious mumps to spread in a place like a college dorm.

"If it gets into my dorm, I'm not sure where it is right now," said freshman Perry Hels.

Hels, who is from New Berlin, received a health alert e-mail from school officials.

"I just know that it was in a specific class," explained Hels.

The Milwaukee Health Department says the two mumps cases are related, and with many students living in dorms, it's ideal for the virus to spread.

"It's spread by what's called droplet contacts, so anytime there's someone sneezing, coughing or whatever, you can spread that actually pretty easily," explained Dr. Cindy Running of Northshore Pediatrics.

She says the virus spreads quickly and can lead to meningitis.

A student with mumps should be isolated and immunized, especially college students.

Health experts say it's important to know the symptoms, such as an initial cold with a fever, and then it becomes more severe.

"Within two to three days of getting the illness that's when you have the swelling of this gland here," said Dr. Running.

The Milwaukee Health Department will be monitoring students on and off campus to make sure the disease is contained.