Butler University has confirmed nine cases of mumps among our student population. The first cases were identified on Thursday, February 11, and confirmed Friday, February 12, by the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD).

Mumps virus/CDC
Mumps virus/CDC

The University is taking proactive measures to prevent the further spread of mumps in our community. All diagnosed students have been isolated and will not return to campus activities until they are symptom-free. Our facilities teams are thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, and we have encouraged students, employees, and visitors to wash their hands regularly, avoid individuals who appear to be sick, and stay home or visit Health Services if showing signs or symptoms of illness.

Butler University is working closely with the MCPHD to follow recommendations and guidance in this matter. Given the close-knit nature of our campus community, the MCPHD has required that all Butler students, faculty, and staff receive a booster MMR vaccine, and will be offering immunization clinics for these groups over the next several days.

Butler University and our academic/arts/athletics/recreation facilities remain open to the public and the Health Department has not made any specific recommendations for visitors to Butler’s campus.

Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared.

Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. It is usually a mild disease, but can occasionally cause serious complications.

The most common complication is inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty; rarely does this lead to fertility problems.

Other rare complications include inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord(encephalitis/meningitis), inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breasts (mastitis) infemales who have reached puberty and deafness. Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.

69 mumps cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of Feb. 5.