COLUMBIA, MO - This weekend, Mizzou fans will head to Knoxville to watch the Vols take on the Tigers in Neyland Stadium, as their campus in Columbia battles an outbreaks of the mumps.
Right now, there are 31 confirmed cases on the University of Missouri campus, and a couple dozen likely cases.
The symptoms of mumps are much like flu symptoms.
“Mumps is a virus that causes fever, body aches, fatigue. But the big thing about mumps is it causes swelling and soreness in your salivary glands, the glands in your neck that make saliva. So that’s what gets swollen in the mumps," says Dr. Martha Buchanan, Director of the Knox County Health Department.
While people with the mumps would definitely not feel like traveling to a football game, it is possible to be contagious before symptoms start.
"You have a couple of days before you know you’re actually sick, so that’s why we say always wash your hands, cover your cough and stay home if you’re not feeling well. Just to reduce the spread of illness or getting something from somebody else," said Dr. Buchanan.
There is a mumps vaccine, which is very effective and has reduced cases nationwide, but outbreaks can still happen on places like college campuses, where so many young people live in close proximity.
And even if you've had the vaccine, it's not 100 percent foolproof.
"If you've only had one dose, it's in the 70 percent protection rate. So you're about nine times more likely to get mumps if you haven't been vaccinated than if you have. So it's very protective, but some folks will have it. Generally they'll have a little milder disease, but they still can get it," said Dr. Buchanan.
With over-the-counter medicine, fluids and plenty of rest, most people make a full recovery from the mumps in a few days.