Confirmed Mumps Cases At IU Bloomington

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Indiana Health Alert Network Advisory — February 21, 2019


The Monroe County Health Department, Indiana University – Bloomington, and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) are investigating two confirmed cases of mumps in university students.

Mumps is a viral infection spread through respiratory droplets. Initial symptoms are often non-specific and include myalgia, malaise, headache, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, and parotitis (swelling of the salivary gland below the ear). Symptoms typically last two or more days. Parotitis may be unilateral or bilateral. Complications of mumps are relatively uncommon, but can include orchitis, oophoritis, encephalitis, pancreatitis, and transient deafness. Patients infected with mumps are considered most infectious between approximately two days before and five days after the onset of parotitis and should be instructed to self-isolate during this time. The incubation period of mumps is 12-25 days after exposure, with an average of 16-18 days to parotitis onset. Altered clinical presentations may occur in fully vaccinated persons, and approximately one-third of all mumps cases are asymptomatic or experience no parotitis.

Health care providers are strongly encouraged to collect a buccal swab within five days of parotitis onset on any individual (vaccinated or not) presenting with parotitis for testing at the ISDH Laboratories. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or culture from a buccal swab are the most reliable methods to test for mumps, however, acute mumps infection can also be confirmed by the presence of serum mumps IgM and a significant rise in IgG antibody titer in acute- and convalescent-phase serum specimens. Appropriate laboratory specimens are essential for the confirmation of mumps virus, as a number of other etiologies can cause swollen salivary glands.

Additional guidance on lab testing is outlined in the full health alert (PDF file).