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Serious breakout of mumps at Brasenose

A serious outbreak of mumps at Brasenose has drawn concern from students who are critical of the college and JCR’s handling of the incident.

According to the most recent university report, there are currently 20 cases of mumps at Brasenose, including at least 10 “live” cases.

On Monday, Brasenose JCR President Henry Zeffman made undergraduates aware of an outbreak of mumps at the college via e-mail. He added that unwell students had been given the option of going home or being quarantined in college for five days from the onset of symptoms.

Students living in college quarantine have reportedly been confined to their rooms and given access to a bathroom in a specific staircase. Brasenose Hall staff have been delivering them three hot meals a day, free of charge.

Despite concerns about contagious students, Brasenose JCR nevertheless held a literary character-themed bop this weekend for approximately 100 people in the college bar and the new Babylove. Zeffman told Cherwell that he and JCR Entz Rep Liam Langley had spoken to college authorities about potentially cancelling the event for medical reasons, but were given the all-clear.

“It is clearly unfortunate that there has been a small outbreak of mumps at Brasenose at a time when many people, particularly finalists,
are under considerable stress,” Zeffman told Cherwell.

“I am satisfied that College has taken the correct precautionary measures throughout. The Bop went ahead on the advice of the College authorities, who are receiving medical advice from the College Doctor and the College
Nurse.”

Nevertheless, the Brasenose bop drew national attention when an anonymous student was quoted in the Daily Mail criticising the JCR and college’s decision to continue with the event.

Speaking to the Mail, a third-year English student called the event “absolutely ridiculous”.

They told the Mail, “We got an email from the college nurse telling everyone to be wary of mumps and then two days later we had a massive party. 

“This place is like a ghost town – so many people have either gone home because they don’t want to get sick, or are lying in bed ill. This is exam season – these are the most important exams of my life, so I really don’t want to get
ill. It’s so irresponsible for the JCR not to cancel the bop on Saturday night.”

Mumps cases have also been reported at St. Hilda’s College.

Students have been encouraged to go home for five days after displaying symptoms, which develop after a two-to three-week incubation period and include high fever, joint pain, and swelling of parotid glands just below the ears.

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