Following an outbreak of mumps at Temple University, health officials in Maplewood and South Orange are advising the public to take precautions to avoid the infectious disease.

Nobody living in Maplewood or South Orange had the illness as of Friday, authorities in both municipalities said. But the virus, which causes muscle aches, headaches and chewing difficulty, had affected 106 students at Temple’s Philadelphia campus as of Friday, according to university officials.

“Residents should talk to their healthcare provider about age-appropriate vaccinations,” said Maplewood Public Health Nurse Supervisor Candice Davenport in an email to TAPinto SOMA. “Healthcare providers should become familiar with the signs and symptoms of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, mumps, pertussis and the meningococcal disease, especially for college-aged and college-bound adolescents.”

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In Philadelphia, city health officials are advising university students at risk for contracting mumps to get a booster dose of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, known as MMR. It includes a catch-up vaccination for the two-dose MMR series or a third dose for students, who previously received the routine two-dose series.

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Roommates, intimate partners, close friends, students who are in the same social group such as a fraternity, sorority or sports team, and students who attend campus parties are the most at-risk, New Jersey Department of Health officials said in the advisory.

What can you do to avoid the mumps?

The CDC provides the following tips on how to stay safe during a mumps outbreak.

  • Stay up-to-date on your measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.
  • Get two doses of the MMR vaccine if you're living with someone who has the mumps or if you’re sharing belongings with that person such as drinks or sports equipment.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you think that you or someone you know has the mumps.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.

What should you do if you think you've contracted mumps?

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your upper sleeve or elbow when you cough or sneeze. Throw any used tissues away in a garbage can.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Don't share objects that might have saliva on them such as a cup or water bottle.
  • Disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently such as doorknobs and countertops.

Email TAPinto SOMA Editor Lindsey Kelleher at lkelleher@tapinto.net; Follow her on Twitter: @LindseyKelleher