A mumps outbreak is ongoing at Temple University in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania state). As of Thursday, March 21, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has recorded 86 cases over the previous month. Officials have announced plans to establish clinics to provide vaccines free of charge. Further spread of the disease is possible in the near term.
Mumps is an extremely contagious viral disease which is spread via airborne droplets emitted from the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, and loss of appetite, followed by the swelling of the salivary (parotid) glands that can lead to difficulties in chewing and swallowing; the disease is asymptomatic in 20 percent of cases. Adult males without immunity are particularly susceptible to a more severe forms of mumps.
Individuals in Philadelphia are advised to verify that their mumps vaccination and any necessary booster shots are up to date and to take hygienic precautions.
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