The Onondaga County Health Department received reports of five cases of mumps in Onondaga County over the past few days. Four of these cases are students from a local university and one is a high school student in a local school district. All cases are still under investigation, and parents and students of these two institutions will receive notifications. Indu Gupta, MD, MPH, Commissioner of Health explained, “It is important to remember that mumps is a vaccine preventable disease and because of high vaccination rates mumps is no longer very common in the United States. While sporadic cases can still occur among vaccinated individuals, the best way to protect against mumps is to get the measles-mumps-rubella shot (MMR shot). ”
As mumps outbreaks have been occurring on college campuses across New York State and the US, all healthcare providers should be on the lookout for mumps among students returning home from college for the summer break.
Mumps is a serious contagious disease passed through saliva and respiratory secretions. Symptoms include: fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears or along the jawline on one or both sides. An ill person can transmit the disease for five days after the onset of swollen salivary glands. There is no specific treatment.
Prevent the spread of mumps:
- Check with your doctor to be sure that both your and your child’s vaccinations are up to date. The mumps vaccine is given as part of the MMR vaccine.
- If you have swollen salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides, seek medical care immediately and stay out of work and school for five days.
- Avoid sharing drinks, cover your cough, and stay home if you are sick.
- If you are a close contact of a person diagnosed with mumps, watch for symptoms for 25 days.
For more information about mumps visit www.cdc.gov/mumps.