ISU leaders aim to prevent mumps from spreading to campus

By WEEK Reporter

April 29, 2014 Updated Apr 30, 2014 at 11:23 AM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- Following a recent mumps outbreak at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Illinois State University (ISU) leaders are trying to keep the virus from invading their campus.

University administrators said they have been keeping up with the spread of the virus for months.

Fordham University in New York has reportedly had 13 cases since February. In April, Ohio State University reported more than 120 cases. Now, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has reported nine.

ISU Student Health Services Director Laura Knoblauch said it is enough to spark a healthy dose of concern.

"Many Illinois State students are friends with U of I students," said Knoblauch. "They could potentially spread the virus here."

So far ISU has no reported cases.

Knoblauch and other ISU leaders have been in contact with UIUC and the McLean County Health Department.

She said that all area physicians have been instructed to look for symptoms, health service workers know to report cases and all students are required to have the vaccine. However, if the virus makes its way to ISU, they say they are ready.

"We have eight physicians on staff and several mid-level providers, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants who are all ready to see or assist students," Knoblauch said.

The university is encouraging students with symptoms to sign up online to see a provider.