Mumps case identified in northeast Nebraska
Eleven cases of mumps have been identified in the Northeast Nebraska Health District (Cedar, Dixon, Thurston and Wayne Counties) in the past month.
Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department (NNPHD) is working with partners including schools, medical clinics, the State of Nebraska Health Department and others to control the spread of the disease and educate people about the symptoms, spread and prevention of mumps.
One of the most important steps you can take to prevent getting and spreading the disease is to make sure you and your children are up-to-date with the MMR vaccine.
Mumps is a viral illness that causes swelling of glands in the jaw and neck. Other symptoms may include, earache, fever, jaw pain, fatigue, testicular pain and muscle aches. If you or your child has mumps symptoms call your doctor to ask if you need to be seen or tested. Because mumps is a viral infection, antibiotics are not a treatment option; it may be helpful to treat the symptoms, like pain and fever, with over the counter medications.
Mumps is very contagious. People with symptoms can spread the germs to others from three days before symptoms start until five days after symptoms start. The virus can also pass to others as long as there is swelling in the jaw or neck. Those who have symptoms need to stay home and away from others during this time to help limit the spread. The mumps virus is spread by coughing, sneezing and sharing saliva. To prevent the spread of mumps:
•Always cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
•Throw away used tissues and other similar objects appropriately.
•Wash hands often.
•Do not share drinking glasses, eating utensils, water bottles, etc.
•Stay home and away from others if you are sick.
People who have had mumps are likely to be immune from the virus. If a person has had their shots, they are less likely, but still could become infected because over time immunity decreases.
Officials from the NNPHD said, "We think that people who are younger are better protected because they got their shots more recently. Those who have not had their shots or are behind on their shots should consider getting these now by calling their doctor, the public immunization clinic (NENCAP 800-445-2505) or their pharmacy. Women who are pregnant and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of having problems from the disease."
Anyone with questions is asked to visit www.cdc.gov/mumps or feel free to contact NNPHD at (402) 375-2200 or you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates.