Mumps & the Holidays: Sharing Isn’t Always Caring

The College of Charleston, a breeding ground for Mono and the Flu, has a new illness to add to its petri dish, a medieval one to be exact. 

Mumps is a contagious virus whose symptoms include fever, muscle aches and swelling of the salivary glands. It typically takes between 16 and 18 days for symptoms to appear. Meaning that someone could be spreading the virus without even knowing it. This past week there were eight new mumps cases at the College, making the total number of confirmed cases rise to 51.

This is particularly concerning as students will be traveling back to their families for Thanksgiving and winter break. The likelihood of the disease being fatal is very rare, but the threat increases in those with a weakened immune system, such as babies and grandparents. 

Because the virus is so contagious, some are worried that students will spread it to their families. CisternYard Media urges students to get tested before they go home to make sure they are not carriers of the virus. By taking proactive steps before the holidays, students can prevent a potential threat to their family and friends at home. 

“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 and to continue to self-isolate for five days from the onset of symptoms pending confirmation of the diagnosis,” said President Hsu. 

Two weeks ago, the College saw its most significant increase in the spread of the virus —  by around 20 more confirmed cases. While the school has provided two clinics since the outbreak started in September, the virus continues to spread. 

Be safe during the holidays and be aware of the actions to take to prevent the spread of mumps to your communities. 

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Shannon Murray is a junior communications major with a minor in astronomy. Shannon is CisternYard’s opinions editor, and owns two overweight cats who share the same name. When she isn't doing school work, she can be found shopping at goodwill or going to concerts.

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