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Kitsap County Mumps Update - 4/28/16

Kitsap County's now has two mumps cases associated with the current outbreak affecting much of Washington State. We believe the risk to public health from our cases is low.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by the mumps virus. It can happen any time of the year, and can occasionally cause complications, especially in adults. Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes. This is a result of swollen salivary glands. The most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis)

Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks.

How is mumps spread?

The virus is mostly spread by coughing, sneezing or other contact with saliva from someone who is infected. Those infected with mumps usually are contagious before symptoms appear and for a few days after, so they can spread the virus without realizing it.

There is no treatment for mumps but there is prevention. It's important for everyone to get the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to protect themselves and prevent the spread of not only mumps but also the other two viruses.

What can you do to prevent the spread of mumps?

The best protection against mumps is the MMR vaccine which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella viruses.

  • If you don't think you ever had the MMR vaccine, contact your healthcare provider for immunizations or a blood test as soon as possible.
    • If you think you have been exposed and/or may have mumps, you should call your healthcare provider, or the clinic/hospital where they are going to be evaluated prior to your arrival so that proper infection prevention measures can be taken (like wearing a mask) before you enter the facility.
  • It's especially important for people to take precautions at social gatherings. Avoid kissing, hugging and other close contact with anyone who is suspected of having mumps.
  • If you have been exposed to mumps and feel ill, stay home to help prevent the spread of the disease and contact your healthcare provider.
  • If you become ill after a possible exposure to mumps:
    • Contact your healthcare provider and ask to be evaluated for possible mumps.
    • Protect other people - stay away from other people to avoid exposing them to mumps.
  • If you don't have a healthcare provider, contact the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.

Herd or "Community" Immunity

  • Community (or herd) immunity helps slow down and stop the spread of disease among people.
  • Community immunity only works when most people in the community have immunity to the disease. People become immune by getting vaccinated or by having had the disease.
  • By getting vaccinated, the community can contribute to limiting the spread of the contagious disease, which helps protect individuals such as infants, pregnant women, or immunocompromised individuals who cannot be vaccinated.

Resources:

2/27/17: Kitsap Sun: Mumps case confirmed in Kitsap County

 



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