FERRUM, Va. (WDBJ) - Ferrum College officials have confirmed five cases of mumps on its campus.
While it's not clear when the first case was diagnosed, an email was sent to students, faculty and staff members Tuesday, talking about the outbreak and how to prevent contracting it.
Mumps is defined as an illness best known for the puffy cheeks and tender swollen jaw that it causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
September 13, the CDC updated its information on outbreaks in the US, from January of this year.
According to a map on the CDC website, Virginia is shown in the category of 20-49 cases.
The Virginia Department of Health says the exact number for the commonwealth so far in 2019 is 34 cases.
"There were two flyers provided to us from the Virginia Department of Health and we also asked that our students, faculty and staff all check their immunizations make sure they're up to date and we alerted them to possible symptoms," said Nicole Lenez, Dean of students for Ferrum College.
According to Lenez, Ferrum students are required to have two doses of the Mumps vaccine. Due to patient confidentiality, we don't know if the cases confirmed had been vaccinated.
"The Virginia Department of Health sent in an immunization specialist, to one of our meetings up here and she reviewed all of our records - most of our students were in good shape and the immunizations should be working well," said Lenez.
But the college is taking the outbreak seriously. Lenez said the students affected are being given adequate time to rest, excused from classes and even having meals delivered.
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