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Moravian College
Health Center

Health Alerts


Posted: September 17, 2019

Updated: December 5, 2019, 5:00 p.m.


December 5, 2019

Hi All,

Great news… 

The Bethlehem Health Bureau has “closed out” our mumps case which means OUR MUMPS OUTBREAK IS OVER!!!

But, it IS FLU SEASON, so please continue to practice good health habits! 

Best wishes on the end of classes and final exams!

Be well,

STEPHANIE DILLMAN RN BSN
Moravian College Health Center Coordinator
250 W. Laurel St
Bethlehem, Pa 18018
healthcenter@moravian.edu
(ph) 610.861.1566
(fax) 610.625.7899

 


Mumps FAQs

How many mumps cases do we have on campus at this time? 

Twelve (12) confirmed as of Monday, November 4, 2019

What is mumps?

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands. This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. More information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here: Immunology and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms for the mumps are similar to the flu (fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite) and often include tender swollen glands below the ear and along the jawline on one or both sides of the face and neck, headache, fever and cold-like symptoms. People with mumps are considered infectious from two days before swelling begins through five days after the start of swelling.

How is the disease spread?

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets from the mouth, nose, or throat. 

If someone shows symptoms, how do they treat the mumps?

Management for mumps is similar to that of flu. There is no treatment, only relief of symptoms. Take Motrin or Tylenol for fever and swelling, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. One of the most important steps you can take if you experience symptoms is to self-isolate, avoid travel and limit contact with others for five days from the onset of symptoms. For healthy people, there is very little risk of serious complications from the mumps. 

If someone shows symptoms, what should they do?

Go to the Moravian College Health Center for evaluation immediately. If the Health Center is closed, go to your family doctor or urgent care facility and be sure to tell them about the mumps outbreak on campus so appropriate testing can be done.

Those who are showing symptoms are encouraged to cover their mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; use an upper sleeve to cover a cough, not one’s hand. Most importantly, those with mumps symptoms should stay home from school or work to rest and limit the spread of illness to others.

How can someone prevent contracting the mumps?

Avoid close contact with individuals who present symptoms. Wash hands frequently and efficiently. When unable to wash with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid sharing food and drinks or participating in other activities that may result in saliva exposure. Avoid sharing devices like smart phones. 

Arrange for delivery of food.

The College Dining Services has a “sick meal” option. Information is available at https://moravian.sodexomyway.com/explore/nutrition.  A sick meal consists of a beverage, as well as a choice of light breakfast or lunch options. You may make individual requests for different meal periods if necessary. Submit your request. Indicate a friend who will pick up for you and at what time. 

How is the College responding to this outbreak?

Within hours of the first student presenting symptoms, the Moravian College Health Center distributed a message to the campus community to alert and educate students, faculty, and staff on the signs and symptoms of mumps, treatment recommendations, vaccine availability, and more. Regular updates have been shared with campus since the first message was sent to alert campus.

Upon seeing students with symptoms resembling the mumps the College immediately notified the Bethlehem Health Bureau and has followed their recommendations and protocols for communicating with and treating students.  The Health Center has maintained regular contact with the Health  Bureau and, in coordination with their staff, have planned vaccination clinics on campus for high-risk students (e.g., those that have been in close contact with confirmed cases.)  

Also, the College continues to update and educate the campus community; treat anyone who presents symptoms; and identify individuals who have been in close contact with symptomatic individuals and recommend they receive the MMR vaccine.

Other Questions

Does the college require the mumps vaccine for enrollment?

View our policy.

Is the college considering closing?

No conversations regarding closure have taken place. The Bethlehem Health Bureau does not recommend closing the college.

Is the college safe to visit? 

Yes, it is safe to visit campus. Mumps is spread through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets. Casual contact, such as visiting campus, offers minimal risk. 


Update #9: Monday, October 14, 2019

Dear Campus Community,

Taking care of yourself and each other, in the midst of this mumps outbreak, is of paramount importance. Our outbreak is NOT OVER.

Our campus numbers are DIRECTLY impacted by how every single one of us takes personal responsibility for practicing good health habits.

As such, please remember the following:

  • WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY.
  • Do not share drinks with others.
  • Do not kiss anyone who is sick.
  • Cover your face/mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Disinfect your personal items (phone, computer, keys, swipe, etc.) and spaces with appropriate cleaning wipes. 
  • If you are feeling sick, please stop by the Health Center (250 W. Laurel Street) so we can help.
  • If you develop symptoms, it is important to immediately seek medical care and self-isolate AND report that to the Health Center (healthcenter@moravian.edu).

We remind you to check the Health Center Alerts page for the most up to date information about our confirmed number of mumps cases and other helpful information about reducing your risk of infection.

We have attached two documents to this message from the Health Bureau; please take 5 minutes to read them: CDC Mumps Poster | Bethlehem Health Bureau document

As we have stated previously, we remain in constant contact with the Bethlehem Health Bureau and will continue to do so until the outbreak is officially contained. 

Thanks,

STEPHANIE DILLMAN RN BSN
Moravian College Health Center Coordinator
250 W. Laurel St
Bethlehem, Pa 18018
healthcenter@moravian.edu
(ph) 610.861.1566
(fax) 610.625.7899


Update #8: Friday, October 4, 2019

All,

We just wanted to provide another campus-wide “mumps update” before Fall Break.

Good news to share: at the moment, we are holding at eight (8) confirmed cases; and all of those cases were connected to the “initial” outbreak (some tests take longer to get back from the state than others); so we have not experienced a second wave of outbreak. 

Please, please understand that does not mean our outbreak is over. A new case *could* emerge at any time within the 26 day mumps incubation window and that would immediately impact our course of action. 

As a community, we need to continue to practice good health habits. And, if anyone develops symptoms, it is important to immediately seek medical care and self-isolate. This bears repeating, anyone with mumps symptoms should stay home from school or work to rest and to limit the chance of spreading this illness to others. 

As stated in previous emails, if you choose to go home and see a primary care physician because you are symptomatic, we support that choice, but FOR THE GOOD OF THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY please email the Health Center (healthcenter@moravian.edu) and let us know, so that we may relay that information to the Bethlehem Health Bureau. When an outbreak has been confirmed, the communicable disease law in Pennsylvania requires the college to report all symptomatic individuals to the State Health Bureau.

Our campus is to be commended for our care for one another. If we continue to take the proper precautions, we are hopeful that new cases will not be confirmed!

Please know that we remain in constant contact with the Bethlehem Health Bureau and will continue to do so until the outbreak is officially contained.

Enjoy Fall Break,

STEPHANIE DILLMAN RN BSN
Moravian College Health Center Coordinator
250 W. Laurel St.
Bethlehem, Pa 18018
healthcenter@moravian.edu
(ph) 610.861.1566
(fax) 610.625.7899


Update #7: Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Moravian College Health Center received results today from one of the first students tested for mumps, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to eight (8) as of Tuesday, October 1.  


Update #6: Friday, September 27, 2019, 4:15 pm

It has been nine days since our first update, a lot has happened in that time regarding the mumps outbreak and we continue to be grateful for your cooperation. 

As of Friday, September 27 we have seven (7) confirmed cases of mumps among our students. We continue to work very closely with the Bethlehem Health Bureau to identify, contact, and treat affected students and follow the guidelines and recommendations from their staff and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

A few updates and reminders:

  • All Students - We encourage you to share this email with your family, so they are aware of our communications with the campus community. Continue to check the Health Center Alerts page for updates.
  • Booster Shots - We offered a clinic on campus to those students who were deemed high risk because of being in “close contact” with someone who tested positive for the mumps (as defined by the CDC). Those who are roommates or friends with someone on the close contact list were not offered the booster, again, because we are following the guidelines of the Bethlehem Health Bureau. Which is to say if you are a close contact of a close contact to someone confirmed positive for mumps, you are not in a high risk category. It continues to be your choice regarding whether or not you’d like to get a booster, which you can receive from you physician or private retail clinic (e.g., Walgreens, CVS).
  • Immunocompromised students - For those individuals with compromised immune systems, please “stay in” this weekend. We encourage you to stay away from all large gatherings, parties, athletic events, etc. If you have not been in touch with your primary health care provider, again, please take that action immediately.
  • Health Bureau - The Bethlehem Health Bureau continues their epidemiological investigation protocols; which includes identifying any connections between positive cases in our community. When/If a trend is identified, we work with the Health Bureau to curtail group activities and/or take other appropriate actions. You will know if you are part of an identified group.
  • Weekend - If you have had or are having symptoms, in addition to seeking medical care, we ask you to notify the Health Center (healthcenter@moravian.edu). We will continue to monitor that email account over the weekend and will remain in constant contact with the Bethlehem Health Bureau.
  • Vaping - although the CDC has recently begun investigating lung injury associated with vaping (CDC recommendations), if you choose to vape, please do not share!
  • The College remains open and classes will continue as scheduled per the recommendation by the Bethlehem Health Bureau.

Finally, please try to avoid speculation about our mumps outbreak. We ask you to trust that we are sharing any and all information that is relevant to the entire community as soon as it becomes available.

Thanks again for your continued practice of good health habits (washing your hands, not sharing food and drink with others, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, etc).


Update #5 from the Moravian College Health Center-TODAY'S VACCINE CLINIC 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 9:25 a.m.

We understand that reports in the media yesterday may have caused confusion about the clinic being run by the Bethlehem Health Bureau at the Moravian College Health Center today. We are sending this message to clarify who should be visiting the clinic this afternoon.

Those who should be coming to the vaccine clinic today will be notified directly. Students who have not been notified directly should NOT come to the vaccine clinic today, but instead go to a local pharmacy or their family physician if they would like a booster dose of MMR vaccine.

Thanks for your continued cooperation.

STEPHANIE DILLMAN RN BSN
Moravian College Health Center Coordinator
250 W. Laurel St
Bethlehem, Pa 18018
healthcenter@moravian.edu

 


Update #4 from the Moravian College Health Center

Monday, September 23, 2019, 5:30 pm

All,

Please continue to practice good health habits as we know even individuals who have been vaccinated have the ability to contract the mumps.

We have had one more confirmed case since Friday (5 total); but we will not be sending notifications each time if/when that number grows. Please understand that we have been and will continue to notify individuals as appropriate based on their probability for “close contact” with someone who has been confirmed. We will only be sending out all-campus messages if the guidance from the Bethlehem Health Bureau changes for our entire campus. 

As a reminder - The Bethlehem Health Bureau has connected with our Health Center to provide vaccines to high risk individuals (they are holding a clinic on campus tomorrow for those individuals). Anyone who should be receiving this vaccine has been or will be contacted (you do not need to contact us). Other individuals who would like to get a booster vaccine should go to their physician’s office or private clinic.

Thanks for your continued cooperation.

STEPHANIE DILLMAN RN BSN
Moravian College Health Center Coordinator
250 W. Laurel St
Bethlehem, Pa 18018
healthcenter@moravian.edu


Update #3 from Moravian College Health Center - 4 mumps cases confirmed

Friday, September 20, 2019, 2:30 pm

Dear Campus Community,

We have now reached an “outbreak” on campus based on the CDC categorization since we have 4 confirmed cases. We have not seen any new students in the Health Center yesterday (9/19) or today (9/20) who are symptomatic. This could be good news or it could mean that students are choosing to “diagnosis and quarantine” themselves. 

We have been working closely with the Bethlehem Health Bureau and the following information is shared in conjunction with their recommendations: 

  • STUDENTS - If you are choosing to go home and see a primary care physician because you are symptomatic, we support that choice, but FOR THE GOOD OF THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY please email the Health Center (healthcenter@moravian.edu) and let us know, so that we may relay that information to the Bethlehem Health Bureau. When an outbreak has been confirmed, the communicable disease law in Pennsylvania requires the college to report all symptomatic individuals to the State Health Bureau.
  • For those individuals with compromised immune systems, please “stay in” this weekend; we encourage you to stay away from all large gatherings, parties, athletic events, etc. Again, please contact your physician immediately.
  • For those members of our campus community (students and employees) who are not vaccinated, the Bethlehem Health Bureau highly recommends that you leave campus immediately or get the MMR vaccination. If you are not sure whether you have received the MMR vaccination, contact your primary care physician.
  • Faculty and Staff - We have not received information indicating any of you are symptomatic. If you have had or are having symptoms, we ask that you notify the Health Center (healthcenter@moravian.edu) so that we may relay that information to the Bethlehem Health Bureau.

The Bethlehem Health Bureau will connect with our Health Center to provide vaccines to high risk individuals. Anyone who should be receiving this vaccine will be contacted (you do not need to contact us). Other individuals who would like to get a booster vaccine should go to their physician’s office or private clinic.

Again, we encourage everyone to practice good health habits (washing hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, etc). 

THE COLLEGE REMAINS OPEN AND CLASSES WILL CONTINUE AS SCHEDULED.

STEPHANIE DILLMAN RN BSN
Moravian College Health Center Coordinator
250 W. Laurel St
Bethlehem, Pa 18018
healthcenter@moravian.edu
 


Update #2 from Moravian College Health Center

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 5:00 p.m.

Hello again,

We are writing sooner than we expected to report that we have our first confirmed case of mumps on campus.

The advice shared earlier today remains: Health Center Alerts. There is no need to take any immediate action outside of the precautionary steps shared in earlier communications. The college remains open and classes will continue as scheduled. 

The Bethlehem Health Bureau is currently following their epidemiological investigation protocols. 

If we have more confirmed cases and if the Health Bureau determines that we have an “outbreak” at Moravian, we will immediately alert the college community and share relevant information.

Please continue to practice good health habits (washing your hands, not sharing food and drink with others, etc).

STEPHANIE DILLMAN RN BSN
Moravian College Health Center Coordinator
250 W. Laurel St
Bethlehem, Pa 18018
(ph) 610.861.1566
(fax) 610.625.7899
dillmans@Moravian.edu


September 17, 2019 - 4:00 p.m.

Here is what we know right now:

  • The Moravian College Health Center has seen several upper respiratory illness cases yesterday and today that have a possibility to be cases of mumps.
  • Testing is in progress for these cases. We expect to have additional information in the next few days.
  • We have been in contact with the Bethlehem Health Bureau and they will work with us if any cases are found to be positive.
  • Mumps and other upper respiratory diseases are spread by 'droplets', often from sharing drinks, kissing and coughing, and laughing in close contact.

What should you do?

  • Do not share drinks with others.
  • Do not kiss anyone that is sick.
  • Cover your face/mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands!!!
  • If you are sick, please stay away from crowds (e.g. athletic events on campus, Heritage Day, The Star) and stay home if you are feverish.
  • If you are feeling sick come to the Health Center (250 W. Laurel Street). Walk-in hours are 9:00 am to 11:30 am and scheduled appointments between 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm. We will test students for mumps at the Health Center if you present with corresponding symptoms.
  • If you do not know if you are up to date on your immunizations, we encourage you to contact your primary care physician or you can reach out to the Health Center.
  • If you are worried about a friend or roommate, please call the Health Center for advice.

The CDC has plenty of information on mumps. Here is the general information link: https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html

Other than the information shared above, you do not need to take any additional action at this time to protect yourself. You should continue going to class unless you are ill.

We will provide ongoing updates to the campus as necessary, including an immediate notification if we learn any of these cases are positive. At this time, we are not considering this a mumps outbreak.