BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Feb. 10, 2016) – Indiana University sent a message to students and parents Wednesday after two students came down with the mumps at the Bloomington campus.
According to IU, the cases were identified weeks apart and there was no apparent connection between them. The university is working with the Monroe County Health Department and Indiana State Department of Health to identify and notify anyone who may have been in close contact with the students.
“It is always something that we monitor closely, because we don’t want it to continue and escalate. We wanna do everything we can to have as few people infected as possible,” said Penny Caudill with the Monroe County Health Department.
The university says all IU Bloomington students are required to provide immunization records to attend the university.
Students can file a religious or medical exemption in writing which will serve as a waiver for the requirement, but most students on campus have reported being vaccinated.
Symptoms for the mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mumps is spread from direct and indirect contact with an infected person’s respiratory droplets, which can be transmitted through sneezing and coughing. People with mumps can spread the illness for up to two days before and five days after symptoms appear.
A virus causes the mumps, meaning antibiotics are ineffective. Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms; recommendations include bed rest, a soft diet and a pain reliever for body aches.
Symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection but can range from 12 to 25. In most cases, those infected with mumps will experience a mild illness and some may not have any symptoms at all. Rarely—in about 1 to 3 percent of cases—patients will have complications or more serious issues.
The university is asking students, faculty and staff to check their vaccination records. The university said the best way to prevent mumps is to be vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR). Two doses of vaccine are considered around 80 percent effective, but some who have been vaccinated could still come down with the mumps.
IU officials are telling anyone experiencing symptoms to stay home and call before going to the IU Health Center at 812-855-5002 during office hours or 812-330-3790 after hours. Students with questions should contact the IU Health Center or their primary care provider.
For More information about mumps from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here.
Right now, there are 69 confirmed cases of mumps in the U.S. this year.