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IU to organize press conference on mumps outbreak



Following a mumps outbreak at IU that’s drawing national attention, the university is organizing a press conference to update the public on what’s happening.

It will take place at 2 p.m. Monday in the Indiana Memorial Union Solarium.

Speakers at the press conference will talk about what is being done to address the outbreak, which reached 17 confirmed cases last week, and what the public can expect if the disease continues to spread.

Representatives from the Indiana State Department of Health, IU Campus Health Center, IU Environmental Health and Safety and IU Student Affairs will speak.

The school’s 17th case of mumps was confirmed on IU-Bloomington’s campus Thursday morning, according to spokesperson Chuck Carney. The first case was confirmed Feb 21.

At least nine of the cases are affiliated with an IU fraternity, but the school will not release the fraternity’s name. Carney said 14 of the 17 students with confirmed cases had required vaccinations, one had one of the two vaccinations and one was religiously exempt from the requirement and had received no MMR vaccination. He did not know the 17th student’s vaccine records.

Carney said Thursday the university feels it has a good handle on the number of mumps cases, but three to four people are still getting tested for mumps every day at the IU Health Center.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a telltale sign of mumps is puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw. The disease could also lead to loss of appetite, fever, headaches, muscle aches and fatigue.

Symptoms of mumps generally appear more than two weeks after infection, and people with mumps typically recover in about two weeks, according to the CDC. 

Mumps most commonly affects unvaccinated people in a close-contact setting such as a college campus, according to the Mayo Clinic. There is no specific treatment for the viral disease, and it’s highly contagious for about nine days after symptoms begin to appear.

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