Mumps persists in troubling the state as another college student, this one at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has been confirmed with the disease.

A second UNL student probably has mumps based on preliminary tests, UNL and the Lancaster-Lincoln County Health Department said Wednesday. The confirmatory test results hadn’t come back in that case.

Precautions have been taken to isolate the two so the illness doesn’t spread, UNL said.

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine series is required for UNL students. The vaccine prevents most cases of mumps.

A case of mumps had been confirmed last month in a resident of the St. John Paul II Newman Center near the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

The center is home to more than 125 students from several colleges and universities in Omaha.

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In Lincoln, the two individuals live off campus, and the cases appear to be connected, said Tim Timmons of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Timmons declined to describe the connection.

Timmons, a registered nurse and communicable disease program supervisor, said the two Lincoln cases are probably tied to a mumps outbreak last month in northeast Nebraska.

Mumps is spread through coughing, sneezing, sharing cups and other saliva transmission.

“You can have complications,” Timmons said, such as inflammation of the brain, inflamed testicles or ovaries, and temporary or permanent deafness, he said.

More typical symptoms are swollen glands in the face and neck, headache, earache, jaw pain, fever, fatigue, muscle aches and cold-like illness.

Timmons said it’s likely that more cases will be reported.

Dr. Tom Safranek, Nebraska’s state epidemiologist, said last month that two recent outbreaks of the illness had occurred.

A separate cluster was confirmed earlier in the jurisdiction of the Four Corners Health Department, which is west of Lincoln. About 40 cases were linked to one outbreak. In 2018, Nebraska had 12 reported cases, according to the State Health Department.

Those with symptoms should avoid public activities and contact a doctor. To prevent spreading or avoid getting mumps, get vaccinated, don’t share glasses or eating utensils, cover your nose and mouth when coughing, and wash your hands often.

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rick.ruggles@owh.com, 402-444-1123

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