September 20, 2016

Dear Student/Faculty/Staff Member,

This letter is to inform you that a Whitworth University student was recently diagnosed with mumps. The case was vaccinated and the infection was likely acquired while traveling outside the U.S. This notification is being sent campus-wide because there are public places where exposure may have occurred. Close contacts of the case, with direct known exposure, are receiving a separate notification. More information can also be found on these web sites, www.whitworth.edu/healthresponse and www.srhd.org.

The public places are:

  • Classes on Wednesday, Sept. 7:
    • PE 122-1, Tennis 
    • TH 141-1, Great Themes in Paul's Letters 
    • HS 220-1, Anatomy and Physiology 
    • AS 102-1/HI 102-1, The Pacific World 
  • Classes on Thursday, Sept. 8:
    • PY 101-2, Intro to Psychology     
  • Classes on Friday, Sept. 9:
    • PE 122-1, Tennis 
    • TH 141-1, Great Themes in Paul's Letters 
    • HS 220-1, Anatomy and Physiology 
    • AS 102-1/HI 102-1, The Pacific World 
  • Classes on Monday, Sept. 12:
    • PE 122-1, Tennis 
    • TH 141-1, Great Themes in Paul's Letters 
    • HS 220-1, Anatomy and Physiology 
    • AS 102-1/HI 102-1, The Pacific World 
    • HS 220L-N1, Lab: Anatomy and Physiology 
  • Classes on Tuesday, Sept. 13:
    • PY 101-2, Introduction to Psychology 
  • TH 380-1 Young Life Practicum 
  • Dining Hall
    • Wednesday, Sept. 7: Breakfast (9 a.m.), Dinner (5 p.m.) 
    • Thursday, Sept. 8: Lunch (12 p.m.), Dinner (5:30 p.m.) 
    • Friday, Sept. 9: Breakfast (8:45 a.m.) 
    • Sunday, Sept. 11: Lunch (11:30 a.m.), Dinner (5:20 p.m.) 
    • Monday, Sept. 12: Breakfast (8:45 a.m.) 
  • Mind & Hearth Coffee House
    • Monday, Sept. 12: 1:30 p.m. 
  • Arend Hall 
  • Student Health Services, Whitworth University, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, afternoon
  • Branches Church (14617 Newport Hwy) on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 10 a.m. service

If you were in any of the public places mentioned above, we are asking you to monitor yourself for symptoms through October 11, 2016.  Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Muscle aches/pains, loss of appetite, malaise, headache, low grade fever 
  • Facial swelling, pain, or tenderness (usually in front of the lower part of the ear, extending downward and forward along the jawline, face, and neck)
  • Discomfort with swallowing 
  • For males: testicular pain 
  • For females: pelvic discomfort 

If any of these symptoms develop, please call Whitworth University's Student Health & Counseling Center at (509) 777-3259 and Spokane Regional Health District at (509) 869-3133 for consultation. Spokane Regional Health District can help you get tested for mumps, even after hours. If symptoms develop during this period of time, please stay home and avoid contact with other people until mumps can be ruled out or until you are no longer contagious (5 days after facial swelling starts). If you seek healthcare at a facility, please call the facility first prior to your arrival so that the facility may take precautions to make sure others don't get sick.

Mumps is a virus that can cause painful swelling of one or more salivary glands, a low-grade fever, tiredness, loss of appetite and headache. Mumps is spread by coughing and sneezing or direct contact with the saliva or mucus of an infected person (such as sharing eating utensils). 

Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after exposure, but this period can range from 12-25 days. Some people who get mumps have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks. Severe complications are rare, but may include inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord, deafness, and inflammation of the testicles or ovaries.

It's very important that you check your vaccination history for mumps, particularly if you were in any of the public places outlined above. You should have received two doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine during your routine childhood vaccinations. If more mumps cases are identified on campus, it's possible you will be excluded from school and other public places if you do not have documentation of having received two doses of MMR vaccine. If you have not received two doses of vaccine before, please call your healthcare provider or visit your local pharmacy to get this vaccine. Pregnant women are not able to receive the MMR vaccine while pregnant; if you are pregnant, please call your healthcare provider to verify immunity.

While MMR is a very effective vaccine, it's still possible for someone to become sick with mumps even when they've been vaccinated.

Please see the attached mumps Frequently Asked Questions for more information.  You may also call Student Health & Counseling Center at (509) 777-3259 or Spokane Regional Health District Epidemiology at (509) 324-1442.

Sincerely,
Rhosetta Rhodes
(509) 777-4536