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Mumps case reported in DeKalb County

October 1, 2015

Photo of someone washing hands with soapDeKalb County Public Health Administrator Jane Lux and NIU Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Eric Weldy emailed NIU students, faculty and staff about a confirmed case of mumps in DeKalb County.

To Our Students, Faculty and Staff:

The DeKalb County Health Department wishes to inform the community that a Northern Illinois University student has a lab-confirmed case of mumps. The DeKalb County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health and NIU Health Services are working together to provide information to the community about symptoms of mumps, how it is transmitted and what you can do to prevent infection.

If an individual is vaccinated against mumps, typically part of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, his or her risk of getting mumps is very low. However, it is possible to get mumps, regardless of your age or vaccination status.

Mumps is an acute infectious viral disease that can cause swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands in the cheeks and jaw. Other symptoms include, fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. If you or anyone in your family has any of the symptoms of mumps, please contact your health care provider for further evaluation.

Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks. The time it takes for symptoms to appear after a person is exposed to the virus can range from 12 to 25 days. In Illinois, persons with mumps must stay home until at least 5 days after the onset of symptoms.

Children and adults should be up to date with their immunizations. Children should receive the first dose of mumps containing vaccine, MMR, at 12 to 15 months and a second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. All adults born during or after 1957 should have documentation of one dose of MMR. Adults at higher risk, such as college or university students, health care personnel, international travelers and individuals who may been exposed to mumps should have documentation of two (2) doses of mumps vaccine or other proof of immunity. Persons born before 1957 are thought to be immune, since they were likely infected naturally. Please discuss your family’s vaccination history with your health care provider.

Mumps is a viral disease and there is no specific treatment. Since mumps is spread by respiratory droplets and saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, prevention measures include these simple actions:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue away after use.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If water is not near, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Do not share eating and/or drinking utensils.
  • Refrain from close contact with individuals who are sick or experiencing symptoms.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. (Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth). 

Individuals seeking additional information about mumps can contact the DeKalb County Health Department at (815) 748-2467 or NIU Health Services at (815) 753-8873.

Jane E. Lux, RN, MPH
Public Health Administrator
DeKalb County Health Department

Eric A. Weldy, Ed.D.
Vice President, Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
Northern Illinois University