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UC Berkeley hit by mumps, students receive vaccinations

October 7, 2011 |  8:57 am

Sather Gate UC Berkeley
Hundreds of students at UC Berkeley lined up for vaccinations this week as health officials tried to prevent a mumps outbreak from spreading on campus and beyond.

As of Friday, there were as many as 20 known cases -- seven confirmed and about 13 suspected, said Kim LaPean, spokeswoman for University Health Services.

"It doesn't seem like there's a lot of fear on campus, but students are taking everything seriously," LaPean said.

More than 900 students lined up for shots on Thursday, some waiting in line for more than an hour.

Cases have been identified across the campus -- in on-campus housing, co-ops, fraternity and sorority houses and among students who live off campus up to 20 miles away.

UC Berkeley's Tang Health Center advised students to check their health records to make sure they had received two doses of the MMR vaccine for mumps, measles and rubella.

Those who had been vaccinated were recommended to get a third dose.

Mumps is a contagious viral infection that is spread through saliva and mucus. Symptoms, which include fever, headaches and swollen glands, develop 16 to 18 days after exposure.


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Photo: Students walk through Sather Gate at UC Berkeley in 2007. Health officials at the college are trying to prevent a mumps outbreak. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images