The Indianapolis, IN based school, IUPUI announced Thursday a confirmed case of the viral disease, mumps, on campus. IUPUI has been working closely with the Marion County Health Department and the student to identify and notify anyone with whom the student may have been in close contact. If you have not been notified, there is no medical reason to believe you were at risk for potential exposure.
It is important to educate yourself on the symptoms, transmission, and prevention of mumps. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms for the 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, which can be transmitted by sneezing and coughing. People with mumps can spread their infection for up to two days before, and five days after, the onset of symptoms. Therefore, anyone with symptoms should stay home and avoid others to prevent the further spread of illness.
Because mumps is a virus, it does not respond to antibiotics or other medications. Symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection but can range from 12 to 25 days. Generally, mumps is a mild illness, and some people may not have any symptoms. While complications and more serious issues can result from a mumps infection, they are generally rare, with a 1 percent to 3 percent complication rate. Treatment for mumps is geared toward alleviating symptoms. Bed rest, a soft diet, and a pain reliever for aches are often recommended.
What you should do:
- Check your vaccination record with your primary care provider. Currently, the best way to prevent mumps is to be vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, or MMR. Two doses of vaccine are considered to be only around 80 percent effective at preventing infection, so some people who have been fully vaccinated with two MMRs could still contract mumps. If you haven’t received the MMR vaccine, please get vaccinated immediately.
- Practice good hygiene habits. Good habits — such as regularly washing your hands with soap and water; sneezing and coughing into a tissue or your elbow; and avoiding the sharing of drinks, food, and utensils — are a good way to prevent illness and transmission.
- Stay home if you have any symptoms. If you have any of the symptoms, even if you received your MMR vaccine, stay home — away from others — and call your primary care provider or IUPUI Campus Health at 317-274-8214.