CHARLESTON, S.C. — As students and staff prepare to head home for Thanksgiving break, College of Charleston officials are releasing a travel advisory.
In a letter to the campus community Friday, November 22, College President Andrew Hsu said the college had five new cases reported, bringing the total to 56.
"The College is advising those with active symptoms of mumps or those awaiting the results of a test for mumps to delay any travel plans on common carriers such as airlines and trains," Hsu continued.
He says students and staff should isolate themselves from others for five days from the onset of symptoms.
Students that need to change travel plans will need to provide a doctor's note to avoid change or cancellation fees.
The College says in order to "avoid such fees, ask your healthcare provider for a letter stating the need for an isolation period. A doctor’s note from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control can also be obtained by calling the College’s Public Safety Department at 843.953.5609."
If you are not able to change travel plans, and you are experiencing symptoms of the mumps, you are asked to wear a mask to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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Students remaining on campus, who are isolated in their residence halls should contact the front-desk staff to have meal deliveries arranged.
Students who begin to show symptoms should visit a nearby medical facility or call the College's Public Safety Department at 843-953-5609 for help finding medical care.
Students who leave campus and begin to experience symptoms should go to the doctor. At the office, let them know you are a student at the College of Charleston and that there is an active mumps outbreak on campus.
If you do experience symptoms, you should not return back to campus. College of Charleston faculty will work with students to arrange final exams in these specific cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of mumps include tender swollen glands below the ear and along the jawline on one or both sides of the face and neck, headache, fever, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite.
Symptoms typically appear 16–18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12–25 days after infection.
As always, there are simple prevention tips to reduce your risk of contracting mumps that everyone should follow:
- Practice preventive measures, such as regularly washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes
- Avoiding activities that could transfer saliva (e.g., kissing and sharing personal items like toothbrushes, bottles/cups and tobacco/vaping products).