The Philadelphia Department of Public Health issued the following Health Alert about the ongoing mumps outbreak at Temple University. Since Temple students may seek medical care outside of Philadelphia, please be mindful of this advice. During this outbreak, Temple students should be offered a dose of MMR, even if they’ve already received two doses. There have also been cases of mumps in non-Temple students who have links to Temple University. Suspected cases of mumps should be reported to DOH at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (877-724- 3258) or your local health department.
Following a large second wave of transmission, the number of mumps cases associated with the Temple University outbreak has increased to 99. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) continues to work closely with Temple University Student Health Services and CDC to monitor and control this large outbreak through heightened surveillance, isolation of cases, and immunization with MMR vaccine. Similar large mumps outbreaks on college campuses have resulted in ongoing transmission for several weeks to months. PDPH is issuing this update to advise the clinical community on how to recognize mumps cases associated with this outbreak, and to provide information to suspect mumps patients to help decrease transmission.
Recognition, Testing, and Management:
When evaluating patients with parotitis without an apparent cause, area providers should recognize the increased likelihood of mumps infection among patients who are associated with Temple University and consider mumps infection in other patients with parotitis. When mumps is suspected, providers should:
- Place patients with suspected mumps on droplet precautions, which includes the use of surgical masks for healthcare workers with close patient contact.
- Collect all of the following specimens from the patient:
- Buccal swab and urine for mumps polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Please contact DOH at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (877-724- 3258) to arrange for testing coordination with the state public health laboratory.
- Serum for mumps IgM and IgG testing, which can be ordered through commercial laboratories.
- Nasopharyngeal swab for influenza or respiratory virus panel testing to evaluate for other potential causes of parotitis or salivary gland swelling.
- Advise patients who have suspected or confirmed mumps infections to self-isolate, avoid travel, and limit close contact with others for 5 days following onset of parotitis. Specifically, university students should:
- Isolate in a private room and not allow visitors to avoid exposing others.
- Arrange for food delivery to avoid spending time in common areas.
- Wash hands with soap and water often.
- Not share food, drinks, utensils, cellphones, computers, or tablets.
- Not attend classes, school, work, or social events.
- Please report possible cases by calling the PA DOH at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (877-724-3258) or your local health department.
To help control the mumps outbreak at Temple University, PDPH recommends a booster dose of MMR vaccine for students who are at at-risk of exposure to the mumps virus. This includes catch-up vaccination for the 2-dose MMR series or a 3rd dose for students who have previously received the routine 2-dose series. PDPH has identified the following groups as having the highest risk of exposure and needing a booster dose:
- Close contacts of a mumps case like roommates, intimate partners and other close friends.
- Students living in dorms or other congregate settings where there is close interaction with other students.
- Students from the same social group, fraternity, sorority, sports team, campus organization, or study group as a mumps case(s).
- Students who attend campus parties or other social events with other students.
- • CDC Mumps Information for Healthcare Providers: https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/hcp.html
- • CDC Recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of a Third Dose of Mumps Virus–Containing Vaccine in Persons at Increased Risk for Mumps During an Outbreak: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6701a7.htm
- DOH Mumps Fact Sheet:
Originally released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health on March 26, 2019.