More cases of mumps are popping up on several of Indiana’s college campuses -- prompting Butler University and Indiana University to offer free measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations to students and faculty in an attempt to control an outbreak.
At this time, the State Department of Health the outbreaks don’t appear to be connected, however.
Indiana University has confirmed four cases on its Bloomington campus and one student has contracted mumps at IUPUI. Butler says it has nine cases of the virus and is isolating infected students.
Monroe County Health Department Administrator Penny Caudill says students and faculty should avoid sharing food or utensils and practice good hygiene -- because even those who’ve received the mumps vaccine could catch the virus.
“The two-dose that’s recommended is very good at providing immunity but it’s not perfect,” Caudill says. “So there are going to be some people who are exposed to mumps and then contract the infection.”
Diana Ebling is the Medical Director at IU Health Center Bloomington and says viruses like mumps can spread more quickly on college campuses.
“The environment is ripe for spreading really most any infectious disease because they live close together, they’re in classes together,” Ebling says.
So far there have been 13 confirmed cases of mumps in Indiana. Nationally there have been 69 cases this year.