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Hundreds more sickened in Ohio mumps outbreak

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The number of mumps cases in the recent central Ohio outbreak has reached 469 cases.

Columbus Public Health says the number of cases linked to this year's outbreak in Franklin, Delaware and Madison counties is more than in the entire U.S. last year. Patients have ranged in age from 4 months to 80 years old.

This outbreak dates back to January. Many of the cases occurred among students and faculty members at Ohio State University.

In April, health officials in Franklin County reported 116 cases of mumps since January, 93 of whom had a connection to Ohio State University. By May, the total was up to 342 cases.

The university has been attempting to curb the outbreak by distributing posters encouraging healthy hygiene practices to residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses and off-campus neighborhoods. The school has emailed students, staff and faculty of the possibility of exposure and posted alerts on social media.

Mumps often starts with fever, fatigue and body aches. Those infected are urged to stay home, cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing, and frequently wash their hands. In males, the virus can also lead to orchitis, a testicular inflammation that causes pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting and fever. In women, symptoms can include swelling of the ovaries and breasts.

Officials continue to urge people to get the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. The state also has been battling a measles outbreak this year.

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