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Hugh Jessop
IU Health Center Director

Last modified: Friday, April 21, 2006

Mumps health advisory

April 21, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An Indiana University Bloomington student has been diagnosed with mumps, according to Hugh Jessop, director of the Indiana University Health Center. Because the recent mumps epidemic in the Midwest has been tied closely to university communities, Jessop said that students, faculty and staff -- particularly those individuals who have direct student contact -- need to be aware they may be at risk of contracting the disease.

IU Health Center officials are making the following recommendations and observations for students, faculty and staff throughout the IU system, based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College Health Association:

  • 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.

To view a CDC health advisory, visit

For IU Health Center updates and other information, visit

All IU Bloomington students are required by Indiana law to report the dates of two MMR immunizations prior to enrollment. Many recent U.S. cases have occurred in people who received both MMR vaccines, according to the CDC advisory.

Mumps is a viral infection that primarily affects the parotid glands located below and in front of the ears. The infection can cause swelling in one or both glands, pain with chewing and swallowing, fever, weakness and fatigue. Symptoms typically appear two to three weeks after exposure, but roughly 20 percent of people infected show no symptoms. The virus spreads through coughing and sneezing. People with mumps are contagious for about a week before and two weeks after the onset of symptoms, which occurs generally two to three weeks after exposure to the virus. Complications are rare but can include hearing loss, meningitis and swollen testicles.

The mumps vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women, women who plan to get pregnant within the next four weeks, and people who have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin.

To arrange a mumps evaluation or vaccination, please contact your doctor.

Journalists please contact IU Health Center Director Hugh Jessop at 812-855-6511 or