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Home / Health / The outbreak of mumps at Indiana University is usually associated with a single brotherhood

The outbreak of mumps at Indiana University is usually associated with a single brotherhood



At least 16 cases have been reported on campus in Bloomington since 12 February, IU spokesman Chuck Carney said Thursday.

Nine of these cases were associated with a single Brotherhood – the patients were either members of the Brotherhood or had visited the Bruderschaftshaus.

IU does not identify the Brotherhood to protect its privacy.

Carney said while mumps outbreaks at the IU are unusual, the campus had another set of mumps in 2016.

"All of our students must have two MMR vaccines (measles, mumps, and rubella) in the second semester with a religious exemption," Carney said.

  Measles spread like crazy in the US

Across the country, cases of measles and mumps have risen this year.

2019 had the second highest number of measles cases in the US for 25 years (555 cases). And the year is not even halfway.

Mumps are also on the rise nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 426 cases this year on March 29, an increase of 275 cases in one month. Previously, the CDC had reported 151 cases of mumps from January to the end of February.

While the two viral infections are similar, there are remarkable differences.

  The mumps virus
Both measles and mumps are preventable with MMR vaccines. Patients who become infected with one of the viruses may experience fever and, in rare cases, brain damage or death.
But while measles is most commonly associated with a skin rash that covers the entire body, mumps is "best known for its swollen cheeks and tender, swollen jaw," the CDC said.

Mumps are spread through the saliva or mucus through coughing, sneezing or speaking. Sharing utensils or cups can also spread the infection, according to the CDC.

It can also spread if an infected person touches objects or surfaces that are then touched by another person.

CNN Debra Goldschmidt contributed to this report.


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