JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - With several cases of mumps popping up on college campuses in Arkansas, one Region 8 doctor urges every university to better educated their students about the importance of vaccinations.
"I recommend raising awareness to the people in the institution of common signs and symptoms of mumps and direct them to health services you have in your institution, so they are properly evaluated and managed for their care," said Dr. Brookshield Laurent with New York Institute of Technology at Arkansas State University."
Mumps is a viral infection that Laurent said could cause headaches, fevers, muscle aches, loss of appetite, or swollen glands around the ears.
She also said it could cause significant complications if a person is not vaccinated.
"It could lead to inflammation in ovaries, breast tissue, testicles, and sometimes the brain," said Laurent.
Laurent said they typically start vaccinating for mumps as early as 12 months old, but a person who hasn't been vaccinated yet can have it done at any age.
"There are adults who are realizing they did not get the vaccination for the mumps so they can still see their doctors to see when is the appropriate time to get the mumps vaccination," said Laurent. "You certainly should have that conversation with your doctor no matter how old you are."
Laurent also stressed the importance of personal hygiene whether you are vaccinated or not.
"This is the season where you should practice good hand hygiene or not using the same utensils as a person who is ill," said Laurent. "Taking these basic steps of prevention could really go a long way."
Laurent said she highly recommends a person to get vaccinated for the mumps because the benefits of the vaccination outweigh the risks behind not getting it.
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