The LSU Student Health Center and the Louisiana Department of Health confirmed yesterday that 5 LSU students have contracted the viral illness known as Mumps.

According to WAFB, the students live off campus and will now be isolated for at least 5 days as the disease is highly contagious.  To stem the spread of this illness, LSU is now offering free MMR (Mumps, Measles, and Rubella) vaccines at the Student Health Center Injection Clinic.

According to the CDC's report on Mumps:

It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands. This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.

Since the disease is spread through contact with an infected person's saliva and/or respiratory tract secretions, experts agree that the best way to stop the spread of the virus is to:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and warm water.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking after others.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.