COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- The mumps outbreak at Ohio State University has now spread beyond the university to the rest of the community.

"We're seeing a number of cases outside the university and those cases are continuing to increase," said Jose Rodriguez, a spokesman for Columbus Public Health.

The latest count on Monday had the number of cases at OSU up to 45. There are now 18 cases not connected to the university.

"That is concerning because we usually only have about one or two cases a year," said Rodriguez who added that the community cases have hit people between the ages of 4 and 50.

Spread of the disease isn't uncommon, mostly because only about a third of those carrying it will ever experience symptoms. Rodriguez says the best way to avoid getting mumps is to get vaccinated. He also suggests washing your hands often and covering your cough and sneeze.

"If you're sick by any means do not go to work, do not go to school, stay home if you're sick. That's really critical," he said.

The outbreak could drag on for quite some time.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)