Harvard University’s Mump Outbreak Has Infected Dozens Of Students

Harvard University has left its students with a succinct message regarding its current mumps outbreak: “please stop infecting each other.”

The university first announced mumps cases back in February and infections have steadily increased despite the school’s efforts to isolate patients. Since then, Harvard’s mumps outbreak has left 40 people sick over the past two months.

Paul J. Barreira, the director of Harvard University’s health services, told the student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson,┬áthat the increase in cases is concerning. He said, “I’m actually more concerned now than I was during any time of the outbreak. I’m desperate to get students to take seriously that they shouldn’t be infecting one another.”

For such a smart school, you would think that they would know better.

The disease is spreading so fast that it could affect the university’s May 26 commencement, according to Barreira. He said, “If there’s a spike this week, that means those students [will] expose others, so now we’re looking at a potential serious interruption to commencement for students. Students will get infected and then go into isolation.”

The public health department in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reported that all students affected had been immunized against mumps before they had contracted it.

Recent mumps outbreaks in the United States have mostly affected high schools and college campuses. Smaller outbreaks were reported in California, Virginia and Maryland about three years ago.

Between 2009 and 2010, two large outbreaks happened in New York. About 3,000 people, mostly high school students, were afflicted with the disease.

Luckily, most mumps patients completely recover.

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