Long Beach’s outbreak of mumps might have spread to one of two upstate SUNY campuses now dealing with outbreaks, the state Department of Health said on Thursday.
“We are warning colleges and universities in New York State and beyond that the outbreak of mumps in Long Beach could lead to other cases,” Dr. Howard Zucker, New York State health commissioner, said in a statement.
To stop the highly contagious, flu-like disease from spreading, the university communities and unvaccinated students who don’t intend to get vaccinated “have been told they will be excluded from campus for 26 days after the last possible exposure,” the health department said.
“This is common practice in these situations in order to prevent a large outbreak,” it said.
Laboratory tests confirmed one case of mumps at SUNY Plattsburg and one at SUNY Oswego, with the Oswego case “believed to be associated with a recent mumps outbreak in the Long Beach area of Long Island,” the health department said.
Whether the Plattsburg outbreak also stems from Long Beach is being probed.
Two days ago, the state said there were 47 confirmed and probable cases of mumps in Long Beach.
Locally, the outbreak had been concentrated on the barrier island — until now.
Health officials around the nation have also begun documenting an unrelated spate of cases in nearly every state.
There is no treatment for mumps, a viral disease, with symptoms that include a low fever, headache and swelling of the salivary glands. Sufferers also can experience fatigue, muscle aches and loss of appetite, the health department said.
Both SUNY Oswego and SUNY Plattsburgh have “high percentages” of students who have been vaccinated, Zucker said. “We urge students, faculty and staff members with symptoms that could indicate mumps to seek medical care.”
To find out more about the mumps, see: health.ny.gov/publications/2440/.