New Disease Outbreak at Cal

Forget about swine flu and whooping cough. There’s a new viral disease in town. Actually “new” is kind of a misnomer. We thought we’d stanched out mumps with the advent of a new vaccine in 1949, at least 10 strains of which were available as of 2006. Apparently not, because mumps is making a comeback — at the University of California, of all places. KTVU and other local news outlets reported that an outbreak has occurred on the UC Berkeley campus, after cases were confirmed at Clark Kerr dormitory and Cloyne coop. There’s also a suspected case in Cheney Hall dorm. On Tuesday, UC Berkeley’s student health services posted an alert to all students to receive a new measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination (or MMR), regardless of their vaccination history. Until students get revaccinated, they should watch out for symptoms normally associated with the common cold, including fever, headache, muscle fatigue, and loss of appetite. Also, be careful when sharing straws or going to first base, since mumps is passed by saliva. Uggh.

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