In a single week, mumps cases at the College of Charleston have jumped from 26 cases to 43.
This is after an outbreak of the virus was announced in September when three cases of the mumps were confirmed at the school.
C of C President Andrew Hsu sent out a press release Thursday urging students to help in combating the outbreak by getting a vaccination.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both recommend two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The first three cases were a combination of vaccinated and unvaccinated students.
This week, the state health department is recommending an additional dose of the vaccine to students. It is recommending students who participate in fraternity and sorority activities get an additional dose.
Next week, the college will be hosting a vaccine clinic for students who participate in those activities. Health professionals with Student Health Services will also host a question-and-answer session with students next Monday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Stern Student Center.
"While these new positive cases are not unexpected, my administration and I continue to take this public health threat extremely seriously," Hsu said in a press release.
As of this week the school has no plans to alter class schedules as a result of the outbreak.
"Based on what we’ve learned from health officials and from past outbreaks in other communities, additional cases are likely and prevention measures are needed to stop the spread of mumps," Hsu said.
Mumps is a viral infection with symptoms that include muscle aches, fever and swelling of the salivary glands. Symptoms typically appear between 16 and 18 days after exposure.
While the MMR vaccine is highly recommended, getting it is not a requirement to be a student at the college. Students only need to supply a waiver saying they will not be getting vaccinated.
At the time of the outbreak announcement in September, nearly 200 students out of around 12,000 had provided that waiver.
In addition to getting the vaccine and ahead of the Thanksgiving break, Hsu is advising students to practice good hygiene and self-isolate if symptoms appear.
The school is expecting to see more cases of the virus in the coming weeks.