Mumps Victim Speaks

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

October 6, 2006

One of the first UVa students to be diagnosed with the mumps has no idea how she contracted it.

"Tuesday I had a fever, Wednesday I had a fever," said Stephanie Paredes.

The fever got higher and higher and then, Paredes said something really felt wrong.

"My face was probably huge and I went to look in the mirror and screamed and said ahhhhhh, I gotta’ go to student health, I don't know what's going on," said Paredes.

The University of Virginia first year from Arlington had the mumps. Despite being vaccinated, she and four other UVa students and four residents of Charlottesville are also showing signs of the virus.

"To see a clustering of cases in one area is concerning," said Lilian Peake of the Charlottesville Health Department.

Health officials in the city and on grounds are offering free vaccinations, of which two doses are required.

While mumps isn't usually dangerous, it is contagious and patients are often quarantined for a week or more.

Most students say they just can't afford to miss that much school.

"The kids are gonna’ miss lots of materials and it's going to affect the students grades a lot," said Anjae Shin, a student.

Stephanie's back at UVa and so far, no one in her dorm has shown any symptoms of the mumps. She still is curious how she got them in the first place. "It's just a weird thing,” she says. “It's a funny way to start out in college. I just don't know how I got it."

A case of mumps has popped up at Virginia Tech, as well. The Blacksburg School will notify students in classes with the sick student. Full-time students are required to be immunized for mumps.

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