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Mumps: What you need to know

Posted at 4:42 PM, Feb 19, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mumps outbreaks have been reported on college campuses in other states during recent years.

Health officials say the major contributing factor is being in a crowded environment such as a classroom, dorm, or fraternity or sorority with someone who has mumps.


  • A contagious disease caused by a virus


  • Through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat
  • An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing or talking
  • Sharing eating utensils
  • Touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others
  • Can be spread up to two days before and five days after symptoms develop


  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on on or both sides
  • Typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but can range from 12 to 25 days after
  • Some people have very mild or no symptoms


  • Most people recover completely in a few weeks
  • Inflammation of testicles, brain, tissue covering brain and spinal cord, breasts and/or ovaries
  • Deafness


  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • Children are vaccinated twice - at 12 to 15 months and again at age four through six
  • Two doses of the MMR vaccine are 88 percent effective. One is 78 percent.
  • Students at post-high school institutions like college, who don't have evidence of immunity, need two doses of the MMR vaccine at least 28 days apart
  • People born during or after 1957, who don't have evidence of immunity, should get least one dose of the MMR vaccine
  • People born before 1957 do not need to be vaccinated


  • Wash hands frequently
  • Cover your cough and/or sneeze
  • If you experience symptoms, call your doctor
  • If you are infected, stay home and away from others

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about the mumps.  Click here for details.

The Indiana State Department of Health has also set up a mumps hotline. The number is (877) 826-0011


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