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Nearly a dozen Harvard students isolated amid mumps outbreak

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A mumps outbreak at Harvard University has affected 40 members of the school community in the last two months. reports that nearly a dozen students were in isolation as of Monday evening.

Harvard first announced in March there were two confirmed cases of mumps at the school. The number has continued to rise despite investigations into the infection's cause and efforts to isolate affected students.

The public health department in Cambridge, Mass., where Harvard is located, determined a month ago that all infected students to that point had received a mumps vaccine prior to contracting the infection. A department spokeswoman says she hasn't heard of any confirmed cases in the city unrelated to the Harvard community.

Mumps is a viral infection that causes swelling in the salivary glands and cheeks.

The rapid spread of mumps could affect Harvard's Commencement and other end-of-the-semester activities if more individuals become exposed to the virus, Lindsey Baker, a spokesperson for Harvard University Health Services told Harvard's school newspaper the Crimson.

"The concern is that if there's a spike this week, that means those students expose others, so now we're looking at a potential serious interruption to Commencement for students," Barreira said. "Students will get infected, and then go into isolation."

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