BOONE, NC -- The Appalachian District Health Department confirms an Appalachian State University student was diagnosed with the mumps. 

ASU says the student diagnosed with the virus is being treated. Dr. Robert Ellison, director of Appalachian State Unversity’s Student Health Service said, “Appalachian State University is working in close partnership with AppHealthCare and the North Carolina Division of Public Health to investigate this case and prevent the spread of mumps. We want to reassure our campus and community that this virus is spread through close contact like kissing, drinking after someone else, coughing or sneezing. The ill student has been cooperative in staying home while ill as we have instructed.”

The Appalachian District Health Department released the following information about the mumps. 

What causes mumps?

Mumps is caused by a virus.

How does mumps spread?

The mumps virus is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions or saliva or through sharing items like cups or utensils with an infected person. The risk of spreading the virus increases the longer and the closer the contact a person has with someone who has mumps. The average incubation period (from exposure to onset of illness) for mumps is 16 to 18 days, with a range of 12– 25 days. People with mumps are considered most infectious from two days before through five days after the onset of symptoms.

What are the symptoms of mumps?

Individuals with mumps usually first feel sick with nonspecific symptoms like headache, loss of appetite, and low-grade fever. The most well-known sign of mumps is parotitis, the swelling of the parotid salivary glands, below the ear. Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease. There are no medicines to treat mumps, but most people recover completely in a few weeks.


Vaccination is the best way to prevent mumps. Two doses of MMR vaccine are approximately 88% effective at preventing the disease; one dose is approximately 78% effective.
MMR vaccine should be administered to persons without evidence of immunity and everyone should be brought up to date with age appropriate vaccination (one or two doses). Although MMR vaccination has not been shown to be effective in preventing mumps in persons already infected, it will prevent infection in those persons who are not yet exposed or infected. Those born before or during 1957 are considered immune based on likely exposure during childhood.