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Thousands Of Students Sign Online Petition Asking Temple University To Temporarily Close Amid Mumps Outbreak

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is growing concern at Temple University as the number of mumps cases continues to rise. Some students want the college to take preventative action.

Students tell Eyewitness News that they're not scared, but the number of mumps cases is alarming. There is an online petition requesting a temporary closing. So far, nearly 9,000 people have signed it.

But not everyone is in agreement.

"I don't want to catch it," freshman Anna Grant said. "But even though I'm vaccinated, I feel like I can still catch it."

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As more days pass, the number of possible mumps cases continues to grow at Temple University. With that, so does the concern.

"I'm vaccinated but I'm still like scared to get it," said freshman Anya Gavronsky, "so I'm kind of avoiding going out and stuff."

According to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, there are now 74 possible mumps cases. Of the 74 cases, 15 are confirmed.

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Temple students started the online petition, requesting a temporary closing to contain the outbreak.

"I signed it when it was like 100 people," Gavronsky said.

Thousands of students have signed the petition, but not everyone is on board with the university closing.

"No, I pay too much money," senior Samuel Shaffer said. "I want to go to school. I love coming to school here."

The health department also doesn't recommend a temporary closure.

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Since it takes week for mumps symptoms to develop, people who were exposed would be able to spread it once Temple reopened.

"I don't feel like it'll be that much of an issue for me," said sophomore Fahvian Shorey. "But, I mean, it could kind of get out of hand."

The university is offering the MMR vaccine for $63 at student health services, and those who aren't experiencing any symptoms are staying proactive.

"I still think it's important to be aware of your surroundings," freshman Aparna Rao said. "Like wash your hands."

A Temple University spokesperson told Eyewitness News that the college has not had any conversations about a closure.

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