Columbia, SC - (WLTX) A recent case of the mumps has been identified and linked to Clemson University and Tri County Technical College.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says anyone who attended or visited the university or college between 11/21/2018 and 11/29/2018 may have been exposed to the mumps.
Mumps is a contagious viral infection that may result in parotitis, or swelling in one or both salivary glands in the cheek and jaw area below the ear.
Other common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. Symptoms usually appear about 16-18 days after exposure.
Dr. Anna Kathryn Burch, pediatrician of infection control at the Palmetto Health's Children's hospital explains just how one person with the mumps can affect dozens and dozens of people. Burch says,"One case of the mumps can definitely spread to a variety of people around because it's spread via droplets." The pediatrician goes on to say, "Anytime you sneeze or cough you put thousands of droplets in the air. So any person that's walking by you can definitely inhale those droplets."
But the pediatrician believes that the recent cases of mumps and measles stems from the anti-vaccination movement where many people decided not to have their children vaccinated. Burch says, "We have a generation of kids who never got their vaccines and so because people travel to other countries that have mumps they come back and bring them here or you have travelers come and visit here."
Although there isn't a definitive way to prevent the infection Burch says one should consistently was their hands and be weary of sharing food, drinks and utensils and of cour