Ohio State University students returning from spring break today are being warned to take precautions against the mumps.
Jim Letizia reports.
University and Columbus Public Health officials are warning students, faculty and staff in emails, posters and social media to do their part to keep themselves and others healthy amid an outbreak of the disease. OSU spokesperson Liz Cook says people are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and cover their noses and mouths when sneezing and coughing in order to help contain the outbreak. Besides information on symptoms, treatment and the importance of staying isolated once sick, the university is handing out "get well" bags to sickened students and working with faculty and students to coordinate missed work. So far, health officials have identified 21 cases of mumps, and there are concerns more cases could be found as students return from spring break. It takes several days before symptoms of mumps begin to show up. Health officials have been unable to find the source of the outbreak and have been unable to link any of the cases. Health officials are working with other agencies to determine if any cases outside of Columbus could be linked to the outbreak here. Ohio State does not require students to be vaccinated for the mumps.