If somehow you haven't heard, mumps is making itself at home on MU’s campus. Since the start of the fall semester, there have been 193 reported cases of the mumps, and the number keeps growing. On average, the person that is getting mumps at MU is 20 years old, but anyone can get them. Apparently the previous vaccination is no longer working, so now MU recommends students obtain a third measles/mumps/rubella shot in order to hopefully prevent the virus from spreading more. 

Don’t let the mumps bring this holiday season down, though. We have some ways you can still throw your holiday party or attend one by taking a few necessary precautions.

Use your own cups

Say goodbye to the passing of red solo cups during popular party games. One way mumps spreads from person to person is through saliva. So if you are going to throw a party, have everyone sign their name on their cup. Also avoid taking pulls straight from the bottle if you're planning on sharing your alcohol.

Pack away the mistletoe

Kissing people during the holiday festivities is not advised. Again, the whole passing of saliva can put you at risk for contracting mumps. Remove the temptation from others by packing away that mistletoe this year. You can always hang it another time.

Have people bring their own food

Maybe it's best to just avoid the sharing of everything in general. You never know how healthy people were when they made their potluck dish, so have everyone bring their own food to eat. This takes away the risk. 

Hand out masks and gloves as party favors

Mumps can even be spread through mere close contact with someone. It takes around two weeks of exposure before symptoms start to appear, so anyone might have the mumps without the visible signs. Before people enter the party, pass out surgical gloves and masks. It's better to be safe than sorry. 

If you have mumps, don’t go

If you are feeling fatigue, body aches, loss of appetite, headache, fever or swollen glands, do not go to the holiday party or throw one. If you're a student, you currently have a week free of going to school, so live it up. Take the time to binge-watch a show on Netflix, because no one needs to contract the virus from you. 

Don't throw or go to a holiday party at all

As a last resort, maybe it's just best to save the holiday festivities for another year. Holiday parties are exhausting anyway. Just stay in your room and you will be safe from the virus all winter long. 

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