There are mumps in Indiana – and evidence shows they are spreading!
The mumps cases that initially seemed contained to students at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN have now spread to the greater area – and it also seems like the cases are not linked. That means that the virus is spreading throughout the community and we could see more mumps cases in the Midwest. If your family travels, especially out of the country, contracting mumps could be a real risk.
At Alzein Pediatric Associates, we want to be sure your family – and especially your older teens – are informed about and protected from this potentially life-changing disease.
What are mumps?
Mumps is caused by a virus, which means antibiotics are not effective in treatment. The best-known symptom of mumps is “chipmunk cheeks,” swollen cheeks, salivary glands and jaw. Your child might also experience
- appetite loss
- swollen glands under the ears.
How would we get the mumps?
The mumps virus is highly contagious and spreads through coughing, sneezing, talking, sharing cups or other eating utensils and by touching surfaces that have been infected. Your child won’t show symptoms of this infection for up to three weeks of being exposed to the virus.
Are mumps dangerous?
Mumps can cause complications, especially in older teens, college students and other adults.
- Meningitis, inflammation of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord
- Orchitis, inflammation of the testicles
- Oophoritis and Mastitis, inflammation of the ovaries and the breasts
- Encephalitis, inflammation of the brain
How can we avoid the mumps?
Make sure your vaccinations are up to date! Your children should receive their first dose of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine between 12 and 15 months of age, and the second between 4 to 6 years of age.
If you are unsure of your own vaccination status, or that of any of your family members, please call Alzein Pediatric Associates at 708-424-7600. There are tests that can be conducted to see if your body is immune to mumps. We will be happy to help!