Mumps outbreaks confirmed in Bloomington and Indianapolis

Last Updated on February 20, 2016 by cassnetwork

INDIANAPOLIS—State health officials have confirmed two outbreaks of mumps in students at Indiana University in Bloomington and Butler University in Indianapolis. Indiana University has 4 confirmed cases, and Butler University has 9 confirmed cases. Those numbers may increase as more specimens are tested.

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is working with Indiana University, Butler University and the Marion County and Monroe County health departments to identify potential additional cases and to prevent further transmission of the disease on both campuses.

“At this time, there is no link between the cases at the two universities, so they are considered separate outbreaks,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “Mumps is a highly contagious respiratory disease, so I encourage all Hoosiers to make sure your measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations are up to date. The best protection against mumps is to get vaccinated.”

The Indiana State Department of Health has set up a hotline for the public to call with questions about the outbreaks. The hotline number is 877-826-0011 and is open starting today.

Mumps case numbers will be updated each Friday on the ISDH’s mumps web page at

Mumps is spread through indirect or direct contact with an infected person’s nose or throat droplets, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People with mumps can spread it for up to two days before and five days after symptoms develop, so those infected can spread the disease before they feel sick. Symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12 to 25 days after infection.

Children are routinely vaccinated for mumps at 12 through 15 months of age, and again at 4 through 6 years of age, before going to kindergarten. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says anyone born in 1957 or later who does not have evidence of immunity against mumps should have two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days. People born before 1957 do not need to be vaccinated.

Individuals who cannot verify two doses of the MMR vaccine should contact their health care provider. Hoosiers can also access immunization records directly through the secure online tool, MyVaxIndiana, by requesting a PIN from their health care provider. Visit to learn more.


Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes because of inflammation of the salivary glands under the ears. Other common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks. However, mumps can occasionally cause complications, especially in adults. Those can include encephalitis, meningitis, deafness and inflammation of the testicles, ovaries or breasts

What you can do

If you are vaccinated against mumps, your risk of infection is low. However, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mumps because even fully vaccinated individuals can contract the disease.


If you are experiencing symptoms of mumps, call your doctor. Be prepared to describe your symptoms and when they started and alert your doctor if you think you have been in contact with an infected person. If you are ill with mumps, remain home and away from others, especially unvaccinated infants, people with diseases affecting their immune systems and pregnant women.

Three tips to help prevent the spread of any infectious respiratory disease, including mumps, are:

  • Clean – properly wash your hands frequently;
  • Cover – cover your cough and sneeze; and
  • Contain – contain your germs by staying home (or keep children at home from school) if experiencing symptoms.

For more information about mumps, visit the CDC’s mumps website at

For more information about the Indiana State Department of Health, visit Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at

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