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There's No Mumps Outbreak, Wendell Pritchett Just Really Wanted to Use "Inflamed Testicles" in a Mass Email


Photo (with edits) by the Daily Pennsylvanian


At 2:59 p.m. the entire Penn undergraduate community received an email from the Office of the Provost, Office of Human Resources, and the Chief Wellness Officer about a mumps outbreak at Penn and surrounding college campuses.  

The email described the background, prevention, and treatment of the mumps, which is a contagious and infectious viral disease. Some of the symptoms of the disease described in the email were “swollen/tender salivary glands, difficulty chewing, jaw pain, fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and/or orchitis (inflamed testicles).” 

Upon further inquiry, UTB staff confirms that there isn’t, in fact, a mumps outbreak. Provost Wendell Pritchett simply wanted the opportunity to make the words “inflamed testicles” appear in the inboxes of 8,000 undergraduate students. 

Our investigative staff sat down with the provost and asked him to share his motives behind the prank. “Inflamed testicles!” he shouted. “Come on! That is a silly phrase! Inflamed testicles." Pritchett proceeded to laugh to himself. "Gets me every time!”