The number of mumps cases at Ohio State has hit triple digits, but some students said they’re not concerned.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 163 cases have been reported in Franklin and Delaware counties, 103 of which are linked to the OSU outbreak, according to a Columbus Public Health release.
That’s 10 more total cases and three more OSU-linked cases than what had been reported as of Monday.
Of the OSU-linked cases reported as of Tuesday, 80 are students, nine are OSU staff, one is a family member of an OSU community member and 13 are people with community ties to OSU.
Of those affected in Franklin and Delaware counties, ages range from 9 months old to 69. Six of those diagnosed were hospitalized.
The onset of the first case connected to the Franklin County outbreak was Jan. 7, while the first case connected to OSU was Feb. 10.
Hank Rumpke, a second-year in mechanical engineering, said he was worried he caught mumps after spring break.
“It turned out it was just strep,” Rumpke said. “I was really freaked out since I was already behind on classes, and I would have had to leave school because I was contagious.”
Those infected were advised by Columbus Public Health to stay home for five days after symptoms begin, and anyone who wasn’t vaccinated was encouraged to receive two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to protect themselves.
Jose Rodriguez, spokesman for Columbus Public Health, though, said in March those who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine still have a 10 to 20 percent chance of being infected.
Some OSU students, though, said they haven’t been taking any precautionary measures.
Jacob McCollister, a second-year in economics, said he doesn’t think he’s interacted with anyone who has mumps and isn’t worried.
“I don’t interact with many large groups outside of class. I don’t eat at the dining halls or anything, so that probably helps my confidence level,” McCollister said.
Tony Birri, a second-year in engineering and physics, said he hasn’t taken any preventative measures either.
“I know about the dangers (of mumps), but I don’t know anybody with it,” Birri said. “Since it hasn’t personally affected me, I’m not concerned about it. I probably should be more concerned about it, but I don’t think about it on a daily basis.”
Some students who have been diagnosed with the mumps received up to $400 for donating their blood plasma at a company in Indianapolis, which was looking to gather the antibodies of the virus through the donations and used them to diagnose disease.
In a March 31 interview with The Lantern, Interim President Joseph Alutto said OSU is creating a group to look at how the university handled the mumps outbreak.
“We as an institution need to think more carefully about what we can do,” Alutto said. “Now an outbreak has occurred, you can try very easily to keep people apart, but there’s a limit to what you can do in that regard, so I think we need to learn from this because there’ll be other problems with infectious diseases.”
Mumps is a viral infection of the salivary glands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. It can spread through coughing, sneezing or contact with saliva or mucus. According to the CDC website, the disease can be carried without any symptoms.
Those who are affected by mumps might have swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears or jaw on the side of the face, fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and inflammation of the testicles in men, according to the CDC. The website also says there is no specific treatment for mumps, but it is usually gone in a week or two.