IU Health releases information on how to protect yourself from Mumps

IU Health issues warning about Mumps, how to protect yourself.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana University Health released information on how to protect yourself after Mumps cases in the United States hit a ten-year high last year. In 2012, there were only 229 cases of Mumps nationwide, and in 2016 there were more than 4,200 cases.

At least 100 Mumps cases were in Indiana in 2016. 24-Hour News 8 covered the Mumps outbreaks at Central Indiana colleges.

IU Health said the rise in Mumps is not because people are not being vaccinated. According to the CDC, many people who contracted the virus had been vaccinated.

IU Health reports the standard two doses of the MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccine is only 88 percent effective in protecting against the mumps; the effectiveness rate drops to 78 percent if people receive one dose. Even though the vaccine is highly effective, doctors say people may still get the virus.

“..Its immunity wanes after about 10 years,” said Michael McKenna, MD, a pediatrician at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. “Which is right around the time young men and women are going off to college or the military, where there is a mixing of new folks from across the country who are also in close proximity to each other.”

Mumps is often spread among dormitories, sports teams and classrooms because students are in close quarters with so many people.

IU Health said Mumps symptoms include headaches, fever, muscle aches and swollen glands. Symptoms may take 15-25 days to appear.

Doctors said the best way to prevent catching the virus is to get vaccinated, wash your hands frequently and avoid eating or drinking after other people.

You can read the full warning from IU Health here.