HVM Racing's Ernesto Viso will miss this weekend's Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway having been diagnosed with the mumps virus earlier this week.

HVM Racing management and Indy Racing League officials meet on Wednesday and have determined that in the best interest of Viso, the team and all the participants, the team will not compete this weekend.

"Our primary concern is with E.J. and the crew," team owner Keith Wiggins told www.hvm-racing.com. "We want to see him return as healthy and quickly as possible and also have the crew checked out due to their close proximity to him.

"We have discussed several different options for this weekend, but none of them enabled us to both preserve the health and interests of E.J., PDVSA HVM Racing and its members, other competitors and teams and the Indy Racing League.

"This is the reason why, and as sad as it is, we decided not to take part in the Firestone Indy 200 in Nashville at all. Right now, our focus is getting E.J. healthy for our next event and containing any risk. There is never a dull moment with E.J. around."

HVM Racing will now continue to monitor the condition of Viso and turn their attention to next weekend's event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The Indy Racing League meanwhile has confirmed that it has notified the Indiana State Department of Health and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a member of the IndyCar Series community has been diagnosed with mumps.

"Mumps is a viral illness affecting glands that produce saliva. It is highly contagious, but rarely serious," added a statement to the press. "Symptoms of mumps include: fever, fatigue, headache, pain below the ears, swelling and tenderness along the jaw and in front of and below the ear(s), or possible swelling of the testicles in males. People who do not have swelling may still spread the virus to others.

"League officials held a conference call for teams, drivers and suppliers and informed its employees of the case. As a precaution, the League is asking that some IRL members who may have been in contact with the individual with mumps provide documentation that they have been immunized against mumps or had mumps in the past. If such documentation is not available, League officials will be conducting blood tests of appropriate IRL members in Nashville this weekend to assess their immunity to mumps."

"We are pro-actively working with the appropriate governmental health agencies and the entire IndyCar Series community to inform them about mumps and to take proper precautions," explained Brian Barnhart, president of competition and operations for the Indy Racing League. "We do not anticipate anyone attending this week's event being at risk because the contagious period does not fall within the weekend."

According to Indiana state health officials, the mumps virus is spread by contact with saliva or droplets that are released through the nose or mouth when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Persons with mumps should stay home from child care, school or work during the contagious period to prevent spreading the disease. The contagious period is three days before and five days after the appearance of symptoms.

"Mumps is only transmitted through close contact with an individual with the disease, so members of the general public who attended recent IRL events do not need to be concerned," added Joan Duwve, M.D., medical director for Immunizations at the Indiana State Department of Health. "The IRL has taken all the appropriate steps to prevent the spread of mumps and to protect the health of teams, drivers and suppliers. I applaud how proactive Mr. Barnhart and his colleagues have been in addressing this issue, but again, the general public does not need to be concerned."

State health officials say there is no treatment for mumps. Bed rest, a soft diet (because it is painful to chew), and pain reliever for headaches and muscle aches are often recommended. The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and effective for preventing mumps infection, but is not effective once someone has been exposed to the disease.

For more information on mumps, visit the CDC Web site at: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/mumps/default.htm.