PORTLAND – Some University of Southern Maine students who don’t meet the latest vaccination requirements for the mumps will be banned from campus today, officials say.

The university held a campuswide vaccination clinic Wednesday to provide an opportunity for about 1,300 full-time or residence-hall students on the Portland and Gorham campuses to get their vaccinations up to date. The new vaccination rules don’t apply to part-time students or students on USM’s campus in Lewiston.

Those students who don’t get two doses as mandated by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be barred from the campus, said spokeswoman Judie O’Malley.

On Thursday, a list of students who don’t meet vaccination requirements will be provided to professors, who’ll ask those students to leave classrooms, O’Malley said. Residence hall entry cards also will be deactivated, she said.

“This is unprecedented,” O’Malley said Wednesday. “I’ve worked here for almost 22 years and we never went through anything like this.”

The university with more than 10,000 students in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston is acting on recommendations from the Maine Center for Disease Control in Augusta after a student was confirmed to have the mumps.

That student has recovered and returned to class, but there have been two other unconfirmed cases involving students since then, O’Malley said.

All told, there have been eight laboratory-confirmed cases of the mumps in Maine, and there are another 35 suspected cases, said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Augusta.

Most students already received two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, but some had received only one and were required to get a second shot.

The only exceptions are students born before 1957 and students for whom the shots pose a medical risk, O’Malley said. The latter group includes those who’re allergic to components of the vaccine and those who’re pregnant.

Students who’ve chosen not get vaccinations because of either religious or philosophical beliefs will be banned from campus Thursday, along with others who don’t have both of their inoculations, O’Malley said.

Mumps is a viral infection whose symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle ache and swelling of the salivary glands.

Maine’s mumps outbreak is believed to be linked to the Canadian Maritimes, which has been dealing with an outbreak for months.

Health officials believe Maine’s outbreak could be linked to a concert by a Canadian band at a crowded venue in September in Greater Portland. A member of the music group had the mumps, and Maine’s first two cases were concertgoers, Mills said.

Other than Canada, Maine is the only place in North America that is dealing with the mumps, she said.

Since March of this year, Canada has been experiencing an outbreak of mumps. As of mid-November, more than 900 confirmed cases had occurred in 13 provinces, with the outbreak activity centered in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.


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