Businesses on alert amid mumps outbreak at SUNY Geneseo
GENESEO --- The mumps are on the rise in Livingston County.
SUNY Geneseo confirms to 13WHAM that 12 students have contracted the virus since the first reported case last month. The campus is urging students to be on alert after four on-campus students and eight off-campus students contracted mumps.
The number of cases was updated on Saturday, December 10. The school says there are currently three additional possible cases. These students have been tested and are awaiting the results.
Connie Saffan owns the "Alley Cat Purrfect Price" boutique just feet away from the SUNY Geneseo campus. Saffan says she comes in contact with students everyday.
"I'm exposed to a lot," Saffan said. "I cannot afford to get sick. I run my shop by myself and if I'm sick there's no income."
The university says the origin of the outbreak is unclear as the 12 students who contracted the virus already had their vaccinations.
For seniors Jonathan Campbell and Daniela Cregan, they feel there is not much they can do at this point.
"It does make it a little more real that it can affect me," Campbell said.
"Once we got the notification that it was affecting vaccinated students, it seemed to add a little bit more stress but there's really nothing you can do to protect yourself," Cregan said.
Both students work part-time at the Euro Cafe on Main Street near campus. Co-owner Margaret Zdzieszenski says most of the staff are students and the mumps outbreak reinforces the rules she already has in place.
"Personal hygiene when it comes to washing hands and wearing gloves is a must," Zdzieszenski said. "If there is a sign of a cold, sneezing or fever, we send employees home."
"I wash my hands a lot, drink my vitamin C tablets, and stay healthy as much as I can," Cregan said.
Mumps are considered highly contagious and can be spread through coughing, sneezing and sharing food and drink.