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High Point University

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Campus Health Update

Updated on Tuesday, Dec. 3

Your student’s safety and health are our top priority. Since the first reported case of mumps on Sept. 18, the university continues to work closely with the Guilford County Health Department and remains in close contact with health officials to ensure that all recommendations are followed to maintain the health and safety of the High Point University community. 

Out of an abundance of caution, this website will be updated periodically to keep you informed of the status of mumps on campus.

At this time, the university has no one in isolation, and 34 confirmed cases have been cleared.

The CDC recommends a third round of the MMR vaccination to help improve protection against the mumps for individuals at increased risk of exposure. To-date we have administered 1,463 MMR vaccinations in partnership with Novant and the Guilford County Health Department.

This is unfortunately something schools in our area are experiencing. The university continues to follow protocol to ensure the students impacted receive appropriate care and have been provided with alternative housing, a best practice based on guidance from health officials. 

To minimize the potential for additional cases, the university and our health care partner, Novant Health, continue to take preventative measures. Additionally, the Campus Enhancement team has implemented cleaning at increased time intervals in common areas as an added precaution.

We encourage you to read the important health and safety information below.

For further inquiries, please contact the Office of Student Life at (336) 841-9231 or Campus Concierge at (336) 841-4636.

Frequently Asked Questions

The university is committed to maintaining the health and safety of the High Point University community.  

 –What if someone thinks they’re sick?

Should anyone experience swelling of the glands around the ears or neck (symptoms associated with mumps), please contact the High Point University Student Health Center immediately at (336) 841-4683.

 –What causes mumps?

Mumps is a virus that is spread person to person through coughing and sneezing, or with direct contact with the saliva (spit) of an infected person. The virus can grow in the nose, throat and lymph nodes. 

–What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. The parotid salivary glands (which are located within your cheeks, near your jawline, below your ears) are most often affected. Usually within 48 hours of these symptoms, parotitis develops. Parotitis is swelling of the parotid gland(s) and tends to cause pain in front of and below the ears. The swelling can occur on one side or both sides and often causes pain when moving the jaw, especially when chewing food. Some people with mumps have very little or no gland swelling. Symptoms tend to decrease after one week and usually resolve after 10 days.

Symptoms usually develop 16-18 days after infection, but may develop from 12-25 days after infection. A person with mumps is considered most contagious two days prior to and five days after the start of the gland swelling. They should avoid contact with others and not go to class or work for five days after the onset of swelling of the salivary glands.

–How is it diagnosed?

A health care provider can diagnose mumps. Lab testing may be required.

–How is it treated?

Management for mumps is similar to the flu. There is no treatment, only symptomatic relief. Take Motrin or Tylenol for fever and swelling, drink 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. 

–How is it prevented?

You can help prevent the virus from spreading by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. Additionally, washing your hands often with soap and water, avoiding sharing objects that might have saliva on them, like water bottles or cups, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, tables and counters, are key. The Campus Enhancement team has implemented cleaning at increased time intervals in common areas as an added precautionary measure.

Immunizations are the best preventive method and North Carolina law requires all college students to receive the MMR vaccination except for individuals with medical or religious exemptions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites an 88 percent effectiveness rate for individuals who previously received two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Public health authorities may recommend an additional dose of MMR for people who belong to groups at increased risk for mumps. An additional dose can help improve protection against mumps disease and related complications.

–Is the university safe to visit? 
Yes, it is safe to visit campus. The mumps is spread through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets. Casual contact, such as visiting campus, offers minimal risk.  

–Can university housing accommodate a room switch to prevent close contact with a symptomatic person?
Students in residence halls who are concerned about contracting mumps from a symptomatic roommate or suitemate are encouraged to speak with the Office of Student Life at (336) 841-9231 regarding elective, temporary relocation.

 –What if I think I have been exposed to someone?

Please contact HPU Student Health Services at (336) 841-4683 to schedule an appointment.

–What if I need a vaccine?

Please contact HPU Student Health Services at (336) 841-4683 to schedule an appointment.

–What are the potential side effects of the MMR vaccine?

According to the CDC, the MMR vaccine is very safe, and it is effective at preventing measles, mumps, and rubella. Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. Most people who get the MMR vaccine do not have any serious problems with it. Getting the MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps or rubella. Common side effects of the MMR Vaccine may include a sore arm from the shot, fever, mild rash, temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women who did not already have immunity to the rubella component of the vaccine.

The MMR vaccine has been linked with a very small risk of febrile seizures (seizures or jerking caused by fever). Febrile seizures following the MMR vaccine are rare and are not associated with any long-term effects. Because the risk of febrile seizures increases as infants get older, it is recommended that they get vaccinated as soon as recommended. Some people may experience swelling in the cheeks or neck. The MMR vaccine rarely causes a temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder that usually goes away without treatment and is not life-threatening. Extremely rarely, a person may have a serious allergic reaction to the MMR vaccine. Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of the MMR vaccine, should not get the vaccine.