An unvaccinated adult in Utah County has contracted mumps, the health department confirmed Wednesday, while a fully immunized student in Wasatch County came down with it, too.
The cases are prompting health officials to repeat reminders that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is an available and can, in most cases, prevent the spread of mumps.
“Individuals should review their medical records and ensure they are up to date on all vaccines including two doses of the MMR vaccine, which protects against mumps," said physician David Flinters, medical director for the Utah County Health Department, in a news release.
The department did not identify the Utah County mumps patient, citing privacy concerns. It is the 20th case of mumps reported in Utah this year, the Utah Department of Health said. As of April 26, 41 states and the District of Columbia have reported 736 mumps cases so far in 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The Wasatch County case is the 21st mumps case in the state this year. The county school district sent out an alert Wednesday evening saying that a student at Old Mill Elementary School appeared to have the viral disease.
The 11-year-old’s family told FOX 13 that the boy tested positive for mumps despite being up-to-date on his immunizations; he was ill between May 8-10.
The case is isolated, so district officials are not recommending any students stay home from school. However, the district said it will continue to monitor the situation, as well as sanitize shared surfaces of the school. Parents are cautioned to watch for symptoms in their children.
The main symptoms for mumps include fever, headache and swelling of the salivary glands (parotitis) and jaw. Other symptoms include fatigue, muscle aches and loss of appetite. Complications that may occur from mumps include inflammation of the brain or membrane covering the spinal cord, and permanent hearing loss. Women may have inflammation of the ovaries or loss of pregnancy as complications, and men may experience redness and swelling of the testicles as a complication.
After exposure to mumps, symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but can show up as soon as 12 days or as long as 25 days after. Mumps is spread through saliva or mucus, and objects or surfaces touched by someone infected. It doesn’t linger in the air, so people who share personal items or are within three feet of an infected person are at highest risk.
There is no specific treatment for mumps, and anyone with symptoms should contact their healthcare provider to be evaluated. Mumps is often mistaken for measles, a virus, but there are currently no confirmed or suspected cases of that in Utah.
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