By Gary Qi
After 13 mumps cases diagnosed at Indiana University and Butler University, the Indiana State Department of Health is working to prevent the further cases of the disease.
“This week at the vaccine clinics that being held at both Butler and IU Bloomington, people can receive a third dose, if they wish,” said Pam Pontones, the state epidemiologist.
Pontones said the best way to prevent mumps is vaccination. While people usually receive two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, local health departments and colleges are providing the additional dose to prevent new cases.
“If someone should develop symptoms, they are strongly advised to stay home. Stay home, away from other people, don’t attend class, or school, or other activities. And contact the health care provider—making sure to call ahead, before you see a health provider, so that you don’t potentially infect people in the waiting room,” said Pontones.
The most typical symptoms are puffy cheeks and swollen jaw. The other common symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
“At this point, we have not identified any links between any of those cases to the other university,” said Pontones.
Diana Ebling, medical director for Indiana University Health Center, said the school is working closely with state and county health departments to prevent the further transmission of mumps. They are holding a clinic to provide students a third dose at Indiana Memorial Union on Wednesday and Thursday.
“I would hope they’re reading the information that the university is sending to them to keep them updated about the outbreak, because in all the information also mentions prevention,” said Diana Ebling, medical director for Indiana University Health Center.
Mumps can spread when an infected person coughs and sneezes. People with mumps can infect others up to two days before and five days after symptoms develop, so people can spread the disease before they feel sick.
“At this point, what we would advise is that people take this opportunity to check their vaccination status, and make sure that everyone is up-to-date with two doses of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine,” said Pontones.
People can contact their health providers to check their vaccine records. They can also access immunization records directly through MyVaxIndiana.in.gov, by requesting a PIN from their health care provider.
A hotline has also been set up at 877-826-0011 for questions about mumps.