Five mumps cases confirmed at IU; virus reports rise nationally

Posted at 1:09 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 13:43:47-05

BLOOMINGTON – Five cases of the mumps have been confirmed at Indiana University since December 2016, and officials said they are taking precautions to stop spread of the virus.

Not only were cases reported in Bloomington, doctors said they are seeing an increase nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported mumps are at a 10-year high across the country with cases reported in 46 states within the past year.

Mumps is caused by a virus and is spread through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat, according to the CDC. Symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after exposure and include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen, tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides

Dr. Kimbre Zahn, a physician at IU Health, said the standard two series vaccine is something all people should receive during childhood.

“It has shown to be about 90 percent effective, so although it’s not perfect, it's pretty good,” said Zahn. “We know even if you go on to contract the mumps illness, if you have been vaccinated, you're more likely to have a mild case.”

In 2016, several university students contracted the mumps, including those at Butler, IUPUI and Purdue.

RELATED | Two new cases of mumps at IUPUI | Nine cases of mumps reported at Butler University| Purdue: Five possible mumps cases on campus | IU Bloomington offering free MMR vaccines | Tippecanoe Co. offering free mumps vaccines

The reports led campuses like IU to offer free measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations to students, faculty and staff.  Purdue University began working with the Tippecanoe County Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health to control the outbreak.

The Marion County Health Department and Indiana State Department of Health finds those born before 1957 are considered immune to mumps because exposure to the disease was common when they were young. Those born during or after 1957 should check to see if they have had two MMR immunizations or have had mumps.

To prevent infection:

  • Check your vaccination record with your primary care provider
  • Practice good hygiene habits - wash hands, sneeze and cough into a tissue or your elbow, don't share food and/or drinks
  • Stay at home if you have any symptoms
  • Doctors said it can take about two weeks for symptoms to do away.

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