Mumps Move into Boone County
College students are at higher risk, along with other people in crowded places, although being immunized is not on many students' minds.
"I have absolutely no idea if I'm immunized or not," said MU student Abby Condry.
Perhaps Condry should check her health records.
"As of today, we have three probable cases in different residences throughout the county," said Heather Baer of the Boone County Health Department.
Boone is the latest Missouri county with mumps, an old illness spreading into a new demographic.
"Specifically, in any university or college setting, or even a school setting, daycare, those types of things where people are sharing a lot of things, it's usually spread a lot faster that way," Baer added. "Just kind of watch your own self, and see if you have those kinds of symptoms."
Those include fever, headache, muscle aches and tiredness followed by appetite loss and, of course, swollen glands that puff out faces and cheeks.
Luckily, a simple shot does the trick.
"Being vaccinated is our best protection against mumps at this point," Baer explained.
And, Condry is willing to take that advice.
"I'd much rather get immunized than get the mumps and be sick," she admitted. "I don't have time to be sick."
The state Department of Health said Missouri mumps patients range from one to 60 years old. But, the department does not consider Missouri an outbreak state, because it does not yet have 5 linked cases.
The outbreak began in Iowa, which has the most cases with 1,120. Kansas has 222 confirmed or suspected cases, with Illinois at 157, Nebraska 149 and Missouri 53.