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story.lead_photo.caption Kassandra Salazar (left), a sophomore at the University of Arkansas from Rogers, speaks Tuesday, April 5, 2016, to a group of 11th-grade students from Heritage High School in Rogers as they walk past Old Main while on a tour of the university campus in Fayetteville. ( NWA Democrat-Gazette file photo / Andy Shupe)

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville said Sunday evening it has notified employees and students affected by a mumps outbreak that they can return to campus-related activities starting Monday.

The university said that the Arkansas Department of Health “has confirmed with us that the mumps outbreak is officially over,” according to an email from Zac Brown of the UA Pat Walker Health Center.

Late Sunday, Meg Mirivel, spokeswoman for the state Health Department, confirmed that separately to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Mumps is a viral illness that can result in serious complications, although most people recover completely.

The mumps incubation period — the time it takes for symptoms to appear after exposure — is 26 days. An outbreak can be declared over only when two incubation periods have passed with no new cases, according to the Health Department.

“The soonest the outbreak could be [officially] over is considered to be Monday, Feb. 10th, assuming [there are] no cases between now and then,” Brown said on Jan. 30.

Brown said on Jan. 30 that 47 students were excluded from attending class on campus. The university has about 27,500 students. Faculty and staff members who didn’t meet a separate state Health Department directive also have been excluded from campus since the start of the spring semester.

In mid-January, days before the new semester began, Brown said 83 workers were being excluded from campus for not following the health directive.

A state Health Department directive announced by UA on Dec. 16 said employees were required to prove immunity to mumps by Friday or show documentation that they have received two doses of the vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella — the MMR vaccine. UA has about 5,200 employees.


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