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IU mumps cases reach 23, could affect some graduating students

The number of mumps cases on campus has risen to 23, according to an IU Bloomington Public Safety email sent Thursday.

Graduating students who have mumps and have been told to isolate themselves and are being asked to avoid commencement activities.

As of Monday, the university had 20 reported cases. The first case was diagnosed Feb. 12. The Indiana State Department of Health declared an outbreak March 12 after three cases.

The outbreak period has been extended to June 11. IU spokesperson Chuck Carney said the outbreak period is the amount of time it would take for someone who contracts the disease from one of the three new cases to recover.

Symptoms of mumps include swollen salivary glands under the ears, a fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite.  

Mumps is usually mild and complications are rare but can include brain swelling and hearing loss, according to the Protect IU website.

People with mumps may be infectious from two days before until five days after symptoms appear, the Thursday email said.

The mumps vaccine is 88 % effective after two doses, according to the Protect IU website. If a person was in close contact with someone with mumps, it is recommended he or she get a third does of the MMR vaccine.

The email said to follow the directions given by a medical provider. If the student is told to isolate themselves, he or she should email faculty about missing classes. Students should contact the faculty member and the Dean of Students office if having mumps will affect taking a final.

Students who have a class or live on the same floor of a residence hall or in the same greek house of someone with mumps will be notified.

The email urges students to take precautions such as not sharing food, drinks, vape pens and utensils and staying home if they are sick. It reminds people to wash their hands with soap and water.

“We expect a few more cases at least,” Carney said. “We’re monitoring it.”

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