Published: Mon, March 13, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

KDHE urges Kansans to take precautions to prevent spread of mumps

KDHE urges Kansans to take precautions to prevent spread of mumps

According to the health department, other schools like the Station and the Prairie middle school located in the same area were reported with one probable and nine suspected cases of mumps.

Neosho County Health Department Nurse Donna Bates said the health department has made all the doctors and health departments aware of the potential spread of mumps into Neosho County.

Lisa Dallmeyer, a communicable disease specialist for the Lake County Health Department, told the Lake Zurich Courier there are eight additional probable cases of mumps at Barrington High.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4,000 mumps cases were reported in the USA in 2016, and mumps outbreaks are ongoing in the nearby states of Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

People between the ages of 22 and 47 need to make sure they've had the booster shot for the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) if they only received one vaccine in the past, Kempkens said. Persons are considered infectious from two days before symptom onset to five days after parotid swelling begins.

Health officials are saying more cases could occur since those with the contagious disease, and those suspected to have mumps, are from all different grade levels, according to the Daily Herald.

While cases of the mumps fluctuate each year from a couple hundred to a few thousand, the high number of cases so early into 2017 has some health officials concerned. Cook County health authorities also report a possible case of mumps at an Andersonville neighborhood elementary school on the North Side. 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). Severe complications of mumps are rare but can include orchitis, oophoritis, deafness and meningoencephalitis.

The health department offers the two routine MMR vaccines to children at one year old and upon entering kindergarten. Coughing, sneezing, or talking, and sharing cups or eating utensils can spread the disease, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, there has been a 99% reduction in the number of cases reported since the introduction of routine vaccinations against mumps.

Even those who are vaccinated are susceptible to mumps, as the vaccine is only roughly 88 percent effective, and effectiveness can wane after the vaccine has been administered.

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