The number of confirmed mumps cases on the Purdue University West Lafayette campus has increased to 31 as of Friday, according to Indiana state health officials. As of Thursday, the school said they were investigating eight more probable cases of mumps.
University members who have not already done so are encouraged to check their vaccination records with their primary care provider and obtain copies if needed. The best way to prevent mumps is to be vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR. Individuals born after 1957 who have not had two doses of vaccine or are unable to find their records are encouraged to seek advice from a health care provider or contact the local health department on receiving an MMR vaccine. Persons born before 1957 are considered to be immune to mumps due to the high rate of infection prior to routine vaccination. Two doses of vaccine are only considered around 88 percent effective at preventing infection, so some people who have been fully vaccinated with two MMRs may still contract mumps.
Practicing good hygiene 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 – is a good way to prevent illness and transmission. Additionally, if you believe you may have symptoms of mumps, isolating yourself from contact with others and seeking care as soon as possible could prevent additional spread of mumps.
Students or staff with symptoms – even if they have received a MMR vaccine – should stay home and call ahead before going to an urgent care or the Purdue Student Health Center. If students have concerns about possible symptoms, they should contact the Purdue Student Health Center or their primary care provider.
The number of cases at Indiana University in Bloomington is now at 63. In addition, 35 cases unrelated to any university outbreaks have been identified across Indiana since February.
The outbreak at Butler University in Indianapolis was declared over three weeks ago.
Nationally, as of May 21, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 1148 mumps cases. This is higher than the total cases reported in all of 2015 (1057).
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