State health officials remind residents of mumps prevention

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana State Department of Health is reminding residents to be aware of the symptoms of mumps and outbreaks amid Indiana college and central Indiana outbreaks.

State health officials said Indiana residents should check their vaccination records and be aware of the symptoms of mumps.

They said there have been 24 confirmed cases of mumps at Butler, 18 and Indiana University and four at Purdue. In addition, there have been 15 confirmed community cases in central Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Health said it’s been working with the universities and local health departments since Feb. They said they are working to identify potential additional cases and prevent further transmission of the disease.

The Purdue outbreak has proven how close contact, travel and other common interactions in college environments can contribute to the rapid spread of the disease.

“College campuses can be breeding grounds for illness because students are in frequent close contact in dorms and at social events,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “With events like IU’s Little 500 and Purdue’s Grand Prix coming up, it’s important for people to remember that the best protections against mumps are to get vaccinated, follow good hygiene practices and to stay home and seek medical advice if you experience symptoms.”

State health officials said mumps is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is spread through indirect or direct contact with an infected person’s nose or throat droplets; For example, when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Common symptoms include:

  • Puffy cheeks, swollen jaw
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Some people who get the disease have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have it.

Most people who contract it recover completely in a few weeks, however, mumps can occasionally cause severe complications.

Some of the complications include:

  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Deafness
  • Inflammation of the testicles, ovaries or breasts; Rarely, inflammation of the testicles can lead to decreased fertility or sterility in males.

 

State officials want the public to know mumps can be spread for up to two days before and five days after symptoms develop. They said those infected can spread the disease before they feel ill. Symptoms can appear 16 to 18 days after.

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.

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