An outbreak of the mumps has been reported at the University of Minnesota.
In an email sent to students, the school said six students have the mumps, noting all the cases are mild.
Mumps is a highly contagious viral infection and can spread easily among people who are not vaccinated, the Mayo Clinic says. Symptoms include swollen, painful salivary glands; fever; headache; muscle aches; weakness and fatigue; loss of appetite; and pain while chewing or swallowing.
Officials say mumps cases at the U of M are typically low because of the university’s high vaccination rate, noting those who are vaccinated are “at very low risk for being infected.” But, because it’s so contagious, the university decided to let people know as a precaution, the email said.
Mumps outbreaks typically happen in a crowded environment, like college campuses or sports teams (two Wild players were out with the mumps earlier this year). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the most recent outbreak of the mumps happened in 2015-16 on several university campuses, which prompted schools to hold vaccination campaigns for students to get a third dose of the MMR vaccine.
The Minnesota Department of Health says there are usually about 10-20 mumps cases reported in the state every year.
GoMN has reached out to the U of M and the Minnesota Department of Health for more information.