A second case of mumps has been confirmed in a Marquette student living off campus.
The case is believed to be related to last month’s report of an off-campus student confirmed to have the viral infection, according to a university email sent to students.
Marquette requires all students to receive three doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine before registering for classes, which the university said is effective in preventing up to 95 percent of mumps cases. Paul Biedrzycki, the health department director of disease control and environmental health for Milwaukee, believes there is a chance the virus will spread even among a highly vaccinated population.
“I would say that as a public health official I would expect that Marquette is a highly vaccinated population. However, the vaccine itself isn’t 100 percent effective,” Biedrzycki said. “Which means there is a potential for breakthrough; even people with both of the vaccinations have a chance to contract the disease.”
Biedrzycki said his biggest concern isn’t necessarily for the Marquette student body, because of its high immunization rate, but for the surrounding community.
“You have to build awareness (and) make sure you are fully vaccinated,” he said. ”If you’re symptomatic, then seek care immediately, and finally, if you’ve contracted the disease, stay in isolation.”
The chance the virus will continue to spread is very low if students follow those four steps, he said.
“This is a big deal to have a couple of cases, especially at Marquette,” Biedrzycki said.