One of the biggest health stories of the last few months has been the continuing spread of a measles outbreak. The states of Washington, New York, and Michigan have been hit especially hard by the outbreak. However, now a new outbreak of a different disease has hit the state of Indiana.
Indiana University is currently in the midst of a mumps outbreak. The outbreak started at a fraternity on the university’s main campus in Bloomington. According to university spokesperson Chuck Carney, 16 cases of the mumps have been reported since February 12. Nine of the 16 cases have been linked to one single fraternity.
Carney said that this outbreak is highly unusual. The school requires that all students be up to date on the MMR vaccine by the second semester of their enrollment. This vaccine protects against the measles, mumps, and rubella. The school does give out exemptions for the vaccine for religious reasons.
Unfortunately, the outbreak at IU is not that surprising. Cases of the measles and mumps have surged all over the world in recent months.
Despite the year not even being half over, 2019 has had the distinction of having the second-highest number of measles cases in the country in the last 25 years. So far, there have been over 500 cases of the measles confirmed in various locations.
According to CNN, as of the end of March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 426 confirmed cases of the mumps across the country. This is an increase of 275 in only one month, indicating that there is an outbreak issue.
Both measles and mumps can be prevented with the appropriate vaccination schedule. College students are especially at risk if they did not receive a booster shot. The tight living quarters of many college students only exasperate the spread of the diseases.