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Spokane County is currently experiencing a mumps outbreak. We have been monitoring this situation in collaboration with the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD).  The majority of the reported cases have been in individuals 20 years of age or younger and SRHD has been actively involved in managing each of these cases to control spread of this illness.  While mumps is a viral illness and is contagious, the risk to the general community is typically very low. 

To help us minimize the risk to EWU students and the campus community, please follow these important steps:

 Know your status. We recommend that staff and students take steps now to verify their immunization status.

1.    Staff should contact their primary care provider.  Students who are unsure of their status may contact their primary care provider or Rockwood Clinic. Rockwood is able to look up a student's immunization status, but it may take a day or two, especially if they get a lot of requests for this. It is also more difficult if Rockwood does not already have a patient relationship with the student. The number to call at Rockwood is their main line in Cheney (509)235-6151.

2.    If you have lived in Washington state most of your life (and therefore received your vaccinations here), you are able to check your immunization status online here. This process takes about 5 minutes, but please be aware that information may not be complete, especially for staff or older students.

3.    Another option, if you do not know your immunization status, is to get a titer. For students, a titer is not covered by their student health services.

4.    Currently, Rockwood Clinic has a small supply of the MMR vaccine available for un- or under-vaccinated EWU students.  The MMR vaccine is a covered service under the EWU student health clinic services with Rockwood. The MMR vaccine is also available at the Safeway pharmacy in Cheney at the cost of $95. The Spokane Regional Health District website will maintain a listing of upcoming no-cost MMR vaccine clinics. You can also use this website to find vaccination resources: Be sure you select the MMR filter.  

Know the risks and symptoms. While mumps is contagious, the risk to the general community is typically low. The virus is spread by exposure to infected persons. It can be transmitted by droplets of saliva, such as through coughing or talking, or by contact with an infected surface.   Watch out for the following signs and symptoms of mumps:

•    Swelling and pain in the jaw (one or both cheeks may look swollen)

•    Fever

•    Headache, earache, sore throat, and pain when you swallow or opeyour mouth

•    Pain when you eat sour foods or drink sour liquids, such as citrus fruit or juice

•    Fatigue

•    Poor appetite

•    Testicular pain (in men) or pelvic discomfort (in women)  

If you have any of the above symptoms and think you may have mumps, please reach out to your health care provider (staff and faculty) or Rockwood Health Clinic:  509-235-6151, 19 N. 7th Street in Cheney (students).  

Avoid the spread of germs. Practicing good hygiene will help prevent viruses from spreading: cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve; wash your hands regularly (or use hand sanitizer); don't share towels, drinking glasses or utensils; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; and stay away from others if you don't feel well.  

Self-isolate if you are sick. If you have the mumps virus, it is important that you don't go to work or school for five days after the onset of salivary gland swelling. Students should email their professors and instructors to inform them of their self-isolation due to illness and to receive appropriate instructions for their class work and other responsibilities. Faculty will use judgment and discretion in dealing with these requests. If you have challenges communicating with your faculty members, please contact the Dean of Students office: 509-359-7924.  Staff or faculty should let their supervisor know.  

For up-to-date information about the mumps outbreak, visit the Spokane Regional Health District website or the EWU Health, Wellness and Prevention website.

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