- Associated Press - Thursday, April 28, 2016

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) - An outbreak of mumps at Eastern Illinois University has affected about a dozen students.

University spokeswoman Vicki Shaw Woodard said Wednesday that the current outbreak started around April 11. Sick students have been asked to isolate themselves for five days and return home if possible.

The university in Charleston is working with state and local health officials to evaluate and manage the outbreak.

Mumps is a viral infection that causes swelling in the salivary glands and cheeks. It spreads through saliva or mucus when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can spread by sharing eating utensils or touching surfaces with unwashed hands.

Mumps cases have been reported on campuses across the United States, including at Harvard University where about 40 people have been affected.

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