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My Mumps

By Matt Wood in News on Sep 15, 2006 2:44PM

chicagoist_2006_09_vaccine.gifChicagoist used to think the mumps was one of those quaint diseases like scurvy that only pirates and characters on House get, but apparently it's alive and kicking. Thirteen students at Wheaton College have come down with the mumps recently, and several other cases are being investigated. Even though most people are vaccinated against the disease, it only works 80 to 90 percent of the time. College students are especially susceptible because they live in such quarters and frequently "hook up," as the kids say. The mumps are about as contagious as the flu, so students are urged to take typical precautions like washing hands, covering their mouths when they sneeze, not sharing utensils, and asking potential mates to sign 14-part, legally-binding disclosures before they go out on dates.

Officials think this mumps outbreak is probably related to the 2,000 cases in Iowa. It's like our mother always told us, "Watch out for those filthy Iowans, they might give you the mumps." Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and swelling of salivary glands near the jaw (hence the name "mumps"). So, if you're experiencing these symptoms and were sneezed on by Ashton Kutcher when he was here promoting his new movie last week, get thee some bed rest, ye scruvy dogs.