20 cases of mumps have been confirmed at Indiana University’s main campus in Bloomington. Sixteen of the infected patients have recovered and returned to class, 3 remain in isolation and a few others are pending lab test results.
“We do have some pending tests on patients in which we suspect mumps. We are waiting for confirmation from the state lab,” said Dr. Beth Rupp, medical director at the IU Health Center.
Two of the students are international students and all had been vaccinated against the mumps. Sixteen of the cases were in students who had received two doses of the MMR vaccine. Experts at the news conference say that even with the two doses of the MMR vaccine, it is still only 88 percent effective.
University officials have advised the students to take extra precautions and avoid unnecessary spreading of germs by not sharing drinks or eating utensils. In addition, the fraternity on campus that is suspected of linking to the outbreak has voluntarily canceled all social events for the remainder of the semester.
Even with only a handful of reported cases, students are concerned about staying healthy during the last week of classes before finals.
“I got an email that someone in my class, that I was in the same class of someone that was exposed to it or someone that had it, so I may have been exposed,” said student Pranay Bettadapur.
“Right before I came I actually learned of another case,” said Dr. Rupp at Monday’s news conference. “We have not had any major medical complications.”
This comes at a most unfortunate time, as there are less than two weeks left in the current spring semester.
However, with proper documentation proving they’ve had the two doses of the MMR vaccine required by law, the recovering students whose end-of-semester exams have been affected by the virus are receiving accommodations. By working with the University to reschedule tests and other assignments, the students will complete the semester as planned.
1: NBC WTHR13