At least 40 students and staffers from Harvard University have been afflicted with mumps, which has been plaguing the school in the past months.
As of Monday, dozens of Harvard students have also been put in isolation after showing signs of the contagious disease. In March, the university reported the first two confirmed cases of mumps, but the number of cases has been continuously increasing.
In order to contain the viral infection and finally put an end to the spread of the disease, the Cambridge Public Health Department has been constantly monitoring the spread of the viral infection, which can easily spread through direct contact with an infected person.
Paul J. Barreira Harvard University Health Services Director Paul told the Harvard Crimson that the current mumps situation in the university has reached to an alarming level. He said the current outbreak could affect the upcoming Commencement of the university.
“I’m actually more concerned now than I was during any time of the outbreak, I have to say. I’m desperate, I’m desperate to get students to take seriously that they shouldn’t be infecting one another,” Barriera was quoted as saying by the Harvard Crimson.
Barriera added that the mumps outbreak could affect various university-sanctioned activities, both in and out of the university. He, however, added that should students show signs of mumps, isolation is compulsory.
“The concern is that if there’s a spike this week, that means those students expose others, so now we’re looking at a potential serious interruption to Commencement for students,” Barreira added.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mumps is considered viral infection that is best characterized by puffing of the cheek and a swollen jaw. Although mumps is no longer a common disease in the US, outbreaks often happen in some areas. Mumps outbreaks are common during winter and spring.