Two cases of mumps confirmed in Spokane County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Two cases of mumps confirmed in Spokane County

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Spokane Regional Health District says two cases of the mumps have been confirmed in Spokane County. Both individuals are between the ages of 10 and 20-years-old and the SRHD says both were fully immunized against the mumps. 

These are the first cases in Spokane County, but there have been 58 confirmed cases on the west side of the state in King County, and the SRHD says it's too early to tell if these cases are linked to those on the west side. 

"A measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine prevents most, but not all, cases of mumps," the SRHD said on Wednesday. "Even in a highly vaccinated population it is possible that some people will get the illness. Although the risk of acquiring mumps to Spokane’s general population is low, health officials urge individuals to get vaccinated."

Mumps is spread through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by:

  • Coughing, sneezing, or talking.
  • Sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others.
  • Touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.

The infectious period of mumps is three days before, to five days after, the onset of the most common symptom of mumps, which is swelling/pain of the cheeks and jaw. Other common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite.

Officials from the health district advise individuals who experience mumps symptoms to seek medical care from their healthcare provider.

 Individuals who are concerned about getting the mumps can reduce their risk of becoming ill by:

  • Getting vaccinated against the mumps.
  • People who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine are about nine times less likely to get mumps than unvaccinated people who have the same exposure to the mumps virus.
  • If a vaccinated person does get mumps, they will likely have less severe illness than an unvaccinated person.
  • Most children and young adults have received at least one dose of the MMR vaccine. Two doses of MMR vaccine are more effective than one dose. 
  • Washing hands frequently.
  • Avoiding sharing glasses, eating utensils, water bottles, cigarettes, and makeup.

Prior to 2016, Spokane County’s last confirmed mumps case was in 2009. Including Spokane’s cases, since Jan. 1, 2016, state health officials have confirmed more than 70 cases of mumps in Washington state. In 2015, health officials confirmed seven cases of mumps statewide.

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