Four more students have been diagnosed with mumps at Harvard University, school officials said Wednesday. So far, six cases of the viral infection have been identified at the school.
The students are in isolation, and the university is working with Cambridge and state public health officials to track the virus, according to Dr. Paul J. Barreira, director of Harvard University Health Services, who wrote an e-mail Wednesday to the Harvard community.
On Monday, Barreira reported that an undergraduate and a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School had come down with mumps. His Wednesday e-mail provided no information about the latest four cases, and a university representative did not immediately reply to a request for more information.
Barreira said in his e-mail that those diagnosed with mumps, or thought likely to have it while awaiting test results, have been advised to isolate themselves for five days after experiencing swollen salivary glands.
In addition to swollen glands in the neck, symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, earache, jaw pain, fatigue, and loss of appetite. People who previously had mumps are considered immune from a second infection.
The mumps vaccine, administered as part of the measles-mumps-rubella shot usually given in early childhood, is effective 88 percent of the time if two doses are received.
The virus is carried on a cough or a sneeze, and can be spread by sharing cups or utensils, or touching surfaces exposed to the virus. Good hygiene can help stanch the spread of the virus.
A mumps outbreak was also reported at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said. Two confirmed cases and three probable instances of mumps were reported, the department said.
All of the New Hampshire patients are on the college’s men’s hockey team.