Coastal Carolina University staff, faculty and students may have been exposed to mumps, according to a letter sent to faculty and students Friday afternoon.
The letter, sent by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, says anyone who visited or resided at the university between March 10 and March 14 may have been exposed.
Mumps is spread through saliva or mucus and the virus can be spread through "coughing; sneezing; talking or kissing; sharing items such as drinks, cigarettes or eating utensils; touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others," according to the letter.
People with mumps can spread it for two to three days before the partoid salivary glands in the cheek and jaw area begin to swell. Symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but can range from 12 to 25 days, according to DHEC.
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Mumps can be prevented with Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is usually given to school-aged children. A single dose of the vaccine is about 78% effective and two doses are about 88% effective, according to DHEC.
For more information about mumps or the vaccine, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/mumps/default.htm.
Our Grand Strand Alliance Partner WPDE contributed to this story.