Bowdoin and Bates colleges have experienced an outbreak of mumps this fall, officials said Friday.

Eight students at Bates College in Lewiston have been diagnosed with mumps since early October, but they have recovered and the college does not have any current active cases, according to a spokesman.

The outbreak is the first time campus health officials can recall students with mumps in more than 30 years, according to Bates spokesman Kent Fisher.

Bowdoin, which has two confirmed cases, hasn’t had a previous case since 2007, when an employee was diagnosed.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is working with the schools on the outbreak.

Mumps is a contagious virus that causes fever, puffy cheeks, head and muscle aches, a swollen jaw and other symptoms. Complications can include hearing loss, inflammation of the pancreas and loss of fertility.


A mumps patient is most contagious within the first five days, and there is no specific treatment. The virus is spread by mucus or droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person, most commonly when that person coughs or sneezes.

Doctors typically isolate the patient for five days to prevent further spread of the virus.

People typically recover from the disease within weeks.

Mumps is rare in the United States because most people are vaccinated against the disease as children.

Earlier this year, the University of Southern Maine reported a student with mumps, the state’s first case since 2013 and the first reported on the school’s Portland campus since an outbreak in 2007.

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