Indiana University reports additional cases of mumps

  • Feb. 19, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University is investigating five confirmed cases of mumps on two campuses and is taking precautions to protect students, faculty and staff from contracting the illness.

Four cases of mumps have been confirmed at IU Bloomington, including two cases that the university reported in a Feb. 10 news release; the cases were identified several weeks apart, and no connection between them has been identified. Additionally, one case of mumps has been confirmed at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The university is working with the Monroe County Health Department, the Marion County Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health to identify and directly notify anyone who may have been in close contact with these cases and to implement measures to help prevent the additional transmission of mumps.

Additionally, IU advises students, faculty and staff at the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses and residents of the surrounding communities to educate themselves about mumps.

Due to the increasing number of cases in Bloomington, the campus, the Monroe County Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health are beginning to take additional protective measures. As the situation evolves, additional recommendations may be made. At this time, the university encourages university members to check their vaccination records with their primary-care provider and obtain copies if needed.

IU Bloomington students with symptoms -- even if they have received the MMR vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella -- should stay home and immediately call before going to the IU Health Center at 812-855-5002 during office hours or 812-330-3790 after hours. IUPUI students with symptoms should contact IUPUI Campus Health at 317-274-8214.

Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides. Mumps is spread from direct and indirect contact with an infected person's respiratory droplets, often by sneezing and coughing. People with mumps may be infectious from two days before until five days after the onset of symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should stay home, avoid contact with others and seek care as soon as possible.

Because mumps is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not an effective treatment. Symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection but may appear from 12 to 25 days after infection. Mumps is typically a mild illness, and some people may not have any symptoms. Complications and more serious issues may result, with a 1 percent to 3 percent complication rate.

The best way to prevent mumps is to be vaccinated with two doses of the MMR vaccine. Individuals born after 1957 who have not had two doses of vaccine or are unable to find their records are encouraged to seek advice from a health care provider on receiving an MMR vaccine. Those born before 1957 are considered to be immune to mumps due to the high rate of infection before that time. Some people who have been vaccinated may still contract mumps, because two doses of vaccine are considered around 80 percent effective.

A good way to prevent transmission of the illness is to practice good hygiene habits -- such as regularly washing hands with soap and water, sneezing and coughing into a tissue or your elbow, and avoiding the sharing of drinks, food and utensils. If you believe you may have symptoms of mumps, isolating yourself from contact with others and seeking care as soon as possible could prevent additional spread of mumps.

Students with concerns about possible symptoms should contact the IU Health Center or their primary-care provider. Treatment for mumps is geared toward alleviating symptoms and often includes bed rest, a soft diet and a pain reliever for aches.

To learn more, visit this mumps webpage and view these fast facts. Family members can read more information about the university's health services for students at IU Bloomington and at IUPUI.

IU Health Center in Bloomington

IU Health Center in Bloomington

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Media Contacts

Diana Ebling

Medical Director

Stephen Wintermeyer