SUNY New Paltz mumps outbreak prompts vaccination clinics

NEW PALTZ, New York -- State and local health officials are planning vaccination clinics at the State University of New York at New Paltz in response to an ongoing mumps outbreak.

The state Department of Health says there have been 63 confirmed or probable cases of mumps at the college reported since October, and more are under investigation.

"Even when people are going out you know, everyone worries," student Fadi Rabie said. "Are the restaurants and the bars cleaning up the things people are drinking out of?"

State and Ulster County health officials are holding vaccination clinics Tuesday and Wednesday at the college's student union. The state is recommending students receive a third dose of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. More than 600 students have already signed up for the free booster vaccination. Walk-in's are also welcome.

"When the students come back for spring semester, how many cases we have at that point," Student Services' Dr. Richard Ordway said, "...we wouldn't expect them to die down to zero but if it's just a handful, we'll be happy."

State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says there have been 147 confirmed or probable cases of mumps reported statewide this year, compared to 24 in 2015. It's the highest count since 2010, when 663 cases were reported.

Most have been associated with outbreaks on college campuses.
Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.