Eau Claire health department prompted to do more mumps testing

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An area health department is taking a closer look for signs of mumps in the community in light of confirmed cases in the southeastern part of the state.

The Milwaukee Health Department told WTMJ-TV that it has four confirmed cases of mumps. UW-Milwaukee says two of its students have the infection, and another has a suspected case of mumps. On Thursday, Eau Claire City-County Health Department Director Lieske Giese told WEAU 13 News that there were no cases of mumps in Eau Claire County. She calls it "unusual," and says most of the cases appear to be connected to universities. The department is having more conversations with area doctors about mumps, and testing for it more than usual. Mumps is a viral infection that can cause low-grade fever, headache, muscle aches, and swelling in the neck and jaw area. Coughing and sneezing can spread mumps. So can sharing food, drinks, and utensils with people who have mumps.

Last month, UW-La Crosse had a confirmed case of the mumps and three suspected cases. It was the first time the mumps had been confirmed in La Crosse County in nearly seven years. A traveler from overseas is believed to have caused the infection to spread.

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