Over 4,800 students and staff vaccinated against mumps during Temple clinics

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- UPDATE - April 2 - The Philadelphia Health Department reports 120 mumps cases as of today, up 4 from yesterday. 114 of those are from Philadelphia, while the other 6 are from surrounding counties.

City health officials are wrapping up the second mumps vaccination clinic at Temple University. Thousands of students and staff have received a booster dose of the MMR vaccine.

Officials say all-together more than 4,800 students and staff at Temple got the booster vaccine during the two clinics and several hundred more had already received the third dose.

Health officials still expect to see more cases but they say having more people better protected will help to curb the outbreak.

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Round 2 of mumps clinic for Temple University: Katie Katro reports on Action News at 4 a.m., March 29, 2019

It was a steady stream of students and staff shuffling into Mitten Hall at Temple University to receive a booster shot of the MMR - or mumps, measles, rubella vaccine.

"I had the two doses before but I figured a third one could only help," said senior, Joe Mallon.

A third dose is used to help stop outbreaks of mumps. Many infected during this outbreak were vaccinated as kids but immunity can start to wear off.

Dr. Tom Farley, Health Commissioner of Philadelphia, says the response has been excellent - in some cases, thanks to a bit of peer pressure.

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Temple University offers walk-in vaccine clinics as mumps cases top 100. Bob Brooks reports during Action News at 4pm on March 27, 2019.

"Honestly I didn't really want to come out but everybody keeps saying might as well just go get it," said senior, Dana Levine.

"Partly hearing about it partly because she made me come out and get it so I decided to," said freshman, Jamie Surovik.

"It's like kind of scary because I don't want to get it," said freshman, Danielle Miller.

The mumps is spread through close contact with respiratory secretions or saliva. It can cause headache, fever and swollen salivary glands. Complications are rare but serious.

While the vaccine clinics will help slow down the outbreak, more cases are still expected due the virus's long incubation period.

"We do expect cases of mumps to continue to happen even if everything we do here is effective. Someone who was exposed 4 days ago could develop symptoms three weeks from now," said Dr. Farley.

Anyone with symptoms needs to isolate themselves for at least 5 days.

The university has also set a system to deliver food to sick students so they don't have to leave their dorm rooms. And anyone who missed the clinics this week can still go to Student and Employe Health Center for a booster vaccine.
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