SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Four cases of mumps have been identified in Shelby County since March 2017, according to the Shelby County Health Department.
"With outbreaks in our neighboring states, it is not unexpected to see cases here in Shelby County," said Alisa Haushalter, DNP, RN, director of the Shelby County Health Department. "Experiencing mumps in our community serves as another reminder of the importance of everyone knowing their immunization status."
Mumps is caused by a virus and is transmitted through droplets expelled when people cough or sneeze.
However, you may not become ill until approximately 2-3 weeks (12-25 days) after being exposed to the virus, and at least one in three infected with mumps may have no obvious symptoms.
A person who has mumps is contagious from two days before to five days after the onset of swelling of the cheek or neck (parotitis).
The most common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands.
Mumps can be prevented by vaccination. Two doses of vaccine against mumps are required for school attendance, and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best protection against mumps.
However, vaccinated people can still get mumps, especially in situations where there is prolonged close contact with someone who has mumps. Vaccinated people normally have much milder illness than those in an unvaccinated people, but they can still spread the illness to others.
There are several things you can do to help prevent spreading the virus to others:
- Wash hands well and often with soap.
- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into an upper sleeve or elbow, not hands.
- Individuals with facial swelling should consult their health care provider or SCHD and stay in isolation for five days after onset or until testing negative.
For more information, visit the Shelby County Health Department's official website.