The number of reported cases of the mumps at Temple University continued to rise this week, and the Philadelphia school is taking new steps to try and curb the spread.
Nearly 50 students have either tested positive or been listed as probable for mumps, Temple’s Student Health Services announced Friday. Twelve students have tested positive, and another 37 have been listed as probable.
Just a week ago, 16 cases of the mumps had been reported on Temple’s main campus in Philadelphia, 10 of which were confirmed cases. The outbreak was reportedly starting to crop up on the school’s Ambler campus in Montgomery County at that time.
Temple has updated its immunization policy in the wake of the outbreak, Student Health Services said, by adding three new requirements for students set to matriculate: two doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine; two doses of the chicken pox vaccine; and one dose of the Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis vaccine.
In a message to the student body earlier this month, Temple told students to self-isolate, avoid travel, and limit contact with others if they begin to experience symptoms.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Symptoms begin with fever, headache, muscle aches, lethargy, and loss of appetite. The more telling symptom is the swelling of salivary glands, which leads to puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw.
Since the vaccination program was introduced in 1989, the CDC says, mumps cases in the United States decreased more than 99 percent, and only a few hundred cases of the mumps are reported each year.