Louisiana mumps outbreak grows

Louisiana mumps outbreak grows

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Doctors diagnosed three additional cases on the LSU campus in recent days.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health there have been a total of 22 cases of mumps in the state.

20 cases are clustered on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. Two cases were seen at Loyola in New Orleans.

The contagious disease is easily spread by coughing and sneezing. There is no treatment for the virus which can cause long-term health problems.

Dr. Stacy Greene is an infectious disease specialist at the St. Thomas Community Health Center in New Orleans.

He says because of the outbreak in the state, doctors have to be focused on prevention.

"So of course what we're doing is making our patients more aware; what are the signs and symptoms, have you been vaccinated, have your children been vaccinated. Because vaccination is actually the key to preventing this disease from spreading."

Doctors warn that a person who has the mumps virus may not know they are ill because symptoms may not appear until weeks after infection.

Dr. Frank Welch, medical director of the state immunization program says, "People are most infectious from one or two days before onset of symptoms until five days after they notice inflammation of their salivary glands."

You can find more information about symptoms and prevention from the Louisiana Department of Health here. 

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