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20 confirmed mumps cases at Indiana University with more tests underway

Data pix.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The number of confirmed cases of the mumps continues to rise on the Indiana University campus.

Health and university officials said Monday afternoon the outbreak has grown to 20 students, but no student has experienced major medical complications from the virus.

Those numbers are expected to rise as other tests are underway. One university spokesperson said the state's testing lab was closed at the end of last week due to Good Friday.

Indiana law says students are required to show proof of vaccine by the end of their first semester, but people can still get mumps even with the vaccines. The CDC says experts aren’t exactly sure why that is.

At least 16 students with the mumps have proven to the university they had gotten two doses of the MMR vaccine.

"The MMR is not 100% effective," said Dr. Beth Rupp, the medical director at the Indiana University Medical Center.

The IUMC has diagnosed 17 students with the mumps. The remaining cases were found at other healthcare facilities.

It's not the first or largest outbreak the university has seen in recent years. The university had 74 cases during an outbreak in 2016 and 17 cases during a 2017 outbreak. Zero students came down with mumps in 2018.

"You have a lot of young people living in small areas where a lot of germs are spread," said Rupp. "You also have a lot of sharing of drinks, utensils, (and) of foods. Not always the best hygiene practices."

On Monday, the university was notifying students who live in close quarters with patients with mumps. That includes students on the same dorm floors and classmates.

"If you’re a close contact with anybody with mumps, you’ve been notified of that," Rupp said.

Free vaccines are available for anyone who has had close contact with infected students.

According to IU officials, the first two students diagnosed with mumps are roommates living in off-campus housing. Nine of the infected students are associated with a fraternity, but officials have not said which one.

"I would love to know which fraternity it is," said senior Jack Penniall. "So that way I know just enough information in my personal life. I know people in a lot of different fraternities."

Rupp said the student body would be better off remaining cautious. Students who haven't been to the fraternity shouldn't assume they're safe only because they've avoid the area already.

"We want people to take all the precautions possible," said Rupp. "That’s why we haven’t identified that fraternity."

Indiana is among the top 10 infected states so far this year.

The latest information on the mumps outbreak at IU can be found here.

Mumps symptoms include swollen glands, fever, headache, muscle aches and loss of appetite. The CDC says most people with mumps recover within two weeks.

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