The University of Northern Iowa is the latest of the state’s three public universities to report cases of the mumps.
Iowa Department of Public Health officials are warning students to take seriously the outbreak of mumps that’s been affecting the college communities since the beginning of the school year.
State Medical Director Patricia Quinlisk says there are still more than 100 cases of mumps on the University of Iowa campus. UNI has about a dozen. Iowa State University's Thielen Student Health Center has treated one student for an isolated case of mumps. The student did not live on campus and a contact investigation was completed by Story County Public Health, in accordance with Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines. No other cases have been identified at this time.
Quinlisk says while most people under age 25 recover after a few days, the virus can spread leaving life changing consequences.
“Typically one of the glands the virus can hit is the testicles, if that happens students can be in such pain they have to be hospitalized and it can also render those students sterile," she says. "Also it can go up into the brain and affect the nerve that you use for hearing and can actually cause deafness.”
Quinlisk says it’s likely most students have already been vaccinated to protect against mumps, it’s just when there’s an outbreak that a booster is needed.