1 confirmed, 3 suspected cases of mumps at UW-La Crosse

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It’s been at least seven years since La Crosse County has had a confirmed case of mumps.

There’s one confirmed case and three suspected cases at UW-La Crosse.

Public health nurse Christine Gillespie said the La Crosse County Health Department isn’t taking any chances.

“We act upon it as soon as we receive a report of a case, because it is a disease that can spread between people easily,” said Gillespie.

Mumps is a viral infection that can cause low grade fever, headache, muscle aches and swelling in the neck and jaw area.

It’s spread by person to person contact, so you should avoid sharing food or drinks.

“You never know who’s even carrying it, so I think we all just have to be a little bit more conscious about what we’re touching and who we’re sharing things with,” said UW-L freshman Alex Reina.

“I try to not share things anyways, but it’d make me be extra cautious about it when I’m around things like that, and not sharing with friends at all,” said UW-L freshman Alex McKennell.

Mumps can also cause complications including meningitis, which is the swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord.

UW-L Chancellor Joe Gow said mumps is a big concern on campus, since it’s so contagious.

“Thankfully are county health officials are professionals in this area and our people with the UW-L Health Center are working very closely with them to make sure this is all contained,” said Gow.

The La Crosse County Health Department said you should get vaccinated if you haven’t been already.

The health department said studies suggest the vaccine is 80 to 90% effective.

The confirmed case and the suspected cases were all vaccinated.

If you think you have mumps, contact your health care provider.

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