Mumps confirmed in Vigo County, advisory sent to colleges

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VIGO COUNTY (Feb. 12, 2014) – A case of mumps and six “probable cases” have been confirmed by health officials in Vigo County, leading to a public advisory about the contagious disease.

Those affected by the mumps range in age from 17 to 50 years old. Most of those involved have had age-appropriate vaccinations, according to the Vigo County Health Department. The department is working to identify people who might be most at risk from exposure.

The health department notified Indiana State University that a student from Rose-Hulman had been diagnosed. The university sent a message to students, faculty and staff because ISU students attended a party with the Rose-Hulman student and were concerned that the mumps would spread.

Health officials said even people who’ve received the vaccine could be infected. The Vigo County Health Department offered the following recommendations:

  • People born before 1957 are considered immune to mumps because exposure to the disease was common when they were young. Those born during or after 1957 should check to see if they have had two MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunizations or have had mumps.
  • If you have not been immunized with two doses of MMR and have not had mumps, it is recommended that you contact your health care practitioner for appropriate immunization.
  • The vaccine is not 100 percent effective, so some cases might occur in people who have been vaccinated.

The effectiveness of the MMR vaccine is 80 percent after one dose and 90 percent after the second dose. Mumps is a viral infection that typically starts with fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite.

After that, symptoms include salivary gland swelling, in one or both glands. Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. There is no cure or specific treatment for mumps. Those infected should rest, drink plenty of fluids and work to reduce their fever.

Most mumps transmission likely occurs before the salivary glands begin to swell and within the five days after the swelling begins. Health officials recommend isolating patients for five days after their glands begin to swell.

If you believe that you may have been exposed to someone who has experienced mumps like symptoms, call the Vigo County Health Department at (812) 462-3431.