An FSU student has been diagnosed with mumps, according to Ilene Hofrenning, director of the health center.
Hofrenning said the student had been placed in an isolation room on Friday, where he remained for five days. The student was released from quarantine on Tuesday evening.
According to Dean of Students Melinda Stoops, the isolation room was located in Towers Hall. Residence Life staff delivered meals to the student prepared by dining services, and the health center kept in contact with him.
Hofrenning said anyone with the mumps is contagious from two days before the symptoms appear to five days after.
“We made sure he was isolated for the full five days,” said
Hofrenning. The student had “mild” symptoms on Thursday, and was diagnosed on Friday during a visit to the health center.
The student had been immunized with two doses of MMR, which helps fight measles, mumps and rubella, according to Hofrenning. However, there is only an 88 percent chance that someone who was immunized will develop the anti-bodies needed.
She added, “There is no real way to know” how the student contracted the mumps.
Hofrenning said there are approximately seven students on campus who aren’t vaccinated due to religious reasons. The health center has obtained a roster of the infected student’s classes, and is ensuring none of the seven were in a class with him.
She added the incubation period for mumps is long, lasting 12-25 days.
“If someone was exposed to the student during the four days when he was not isolated, it would take 12 days before they would show symptoms and be infectious. So we have a little time to play with here to figure that out,” she said.
Hofrenning said the trend of not vaccinating will “definitely increase” the number of infectious disease cases. “We depend on herd immunity. … Most people in the herd are not going to get infected.”
She said those who have not been vaccinated, or haven’t been able to develop anti-bodies, are protected by those who have been successfully vaccinated. However, if a number of people start to opt out of vaccinations, it is more likely someone will become infected and pass it to someone else.
Sophomore Keith Barce said, “I don’t have mumps, so I think everything was done very well.”
Lorenzo Giovanella, a junior, said “The fact that they were in quarantine … I wasn’t really too worried about it. I also get shots regularly anyway.”
Jace Williams, a junior, said “I think its weird because you don’t really hear about [the mumps] that often. I’m kind of curious how it happened.”
Stoops said in the event of a pandemic, FSU has a pandemic plan developed in response to the bird flu outbreak a few years ago.
Students infected would be encouraged to go home. “We do have a very limited space to isolate students and maintain our regular routine,” she said.
“Odds are, with mumps, because most of us have been vaccinated, I would think the idea of a pandemic would be less likely,” she added.