Startling increase in number of mumps cases reported nationwide - KCTV5

Startling increase in number of mumps cases reported nationwide

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This fall, more than a dozen mumps cases have cropped up at the University of Missouri with other colleges having the same issue. (KCTV5) This fall, more than a dozen mumps cases have cropped up at the University of Missouri with other colleges having the same issue. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A startling increase in the number of mumps cases being reported nationwide.

This fall, more than a dozen cases have cropped up at the University of Missouri with other colleges having the same issue.

The university only requires high-risk students to be immunized. That would include a student living in the dorms, or someone pursuing a degree in the health care field.

No mumps cases have been confirmed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, but some say with the spike nationwide they're wary.

"I'd rather be healthy than sick and mumps has never seemed like something you'd want to get," student Kelly Johnson said.

Johnson is one of many students at UMKC who has had immunization shots to prevent mumps, a viral infection spread through saliva. Initial symptoms can include swelling in the cheeks.

This month alone, more than 2,300 cases have been reported nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that's double the cases for all of 2015.

"It doesn't necessarily freak me out. It's definitely an interesting thing," student William Mandry said.

Students at UMKC say they're wary but not overly concerned after learning 17 cases of the illness have cropped up at MU this fall with Harvard noticing a spike too.

"I feel like it's a diff environment at Mizzou because there's a higher concentration of kids, but it's always a risk to keep in the back of your mind," student Milan Malhotra said.

Students like Malhotra in his first year of medical school are required to get immunization shots.

The campus' policy states any students living in residence halls, international students or those in the health care field need immunization unless exempt for religious or health reasons.

"It would be nice to know if it is out there how it could affect us," Mandry said.

Students say they want to be notified if a case is reported on their campus.

UMKC hasn't returned KCTV5 News' request to learn more about their policy.

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