Several Cases of Mumps Reported in Indiana, Experts Say Get Vaccinated

WITZ Radio News is an affiliate of Network Indiana 

STATE WIDE--Several people have gotten the mumps in Indiana in the past few weeks. A doctor with IU Health says the vaccine is safe and the key to keeping outbreaks from happening is education about the disease.

"We need to do a better job of educating people about the vaccine," said Dr. James Wood, infectious disease specialist at IU Health, talking to WISH TV. "We know they're safe. We know they're quite effective when used across the community."

Wood said mumps and measles are both covered by the same vaccine, and are both highly contagious. Three people were diagnosed with the mumps on the IU Bloomington campus.

"Mumps and measles are brought back by people usually traveling from abroad, places where both of those viruses are still spreading a lot," said Wood. "Measles is probably one of the more contagious viruses we've ever known. Mumps isn't quite so much. But, it's still pretty contagious."

Wood said he believes people should know the vaccines wrok and are safe, and that not getting them could be harmful to the person who has the potential to be infected and to the community as a whole.

"We know that in measles particularly, it's spread in people that aren't vaccinated, for the most part. And, so making sure that we get as many people vaccinated as we can really keeps it at bay and keeps outbreaks small," said Wood. He said once you get the vaccine, it takes about a week for it to become effective.

Symptoms of the measles include red spots that start on the face and spread, along with fever, cough and congestions. The hallmark of mumps, along with fever, cough and congestions, is swelling of the face.