LA CROSSE, Wis. (RELEASE FROM LA CROSSE COUNTY HEALTH DEPT.)-- There have been 1 confirmed and 2 suspect cases of Mumps disease identified at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Mumps is a viral illness that affects the salivary glands. Mumps spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or shares drinking or eating utensils with someone who is not protected from mumps by vaccination or from life-long immunity from mumps disease.
The disease begins with a low-grade fever, headache, and muscle pain. Commonly the cheek and jaw area swell on one or both sides of the face and throat within the first 2 days of illness, this is called parotitis.
Mumps can cause complications, especially in adults – they may include:
• Orchitis (swelling of the testicles in males who have reached puberty)
• Meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord)
• Encephalitis (swelling of the brain)
• Oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) and/or mastitis (swelling of the breasts) in
females who have reached puberty
• Loss of hearing
Symptoms usually occur 14 to 18 days after infection. However, the time between infection and illness can be as short as 12 days or as long as 25 days. People with mumps are usually contagious from two days before to five days after they develop the swelling in their cheek and jaw. A person is most contagious just before symptoms appear.
Can mumps be prevented? Yes. Mumps vaccine given in combination with Measles and Rubella (called MMR vaccine) is recommended for all children at 12-15 months of age and at 4-6 years of age. The two doses of vaccine normally provide life-long immunity. Adults born before 1957 are generally considered immune to measles and mumps. All adults born in 1957 or later should have documentation of 1 or more doses of MMR vaccine unless they have a medical contraindication to the vaccine or laboratory evidence of immunity to each of the three diseases.