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Mumps is a reportable disease in Oklahoma. Mumps is an infection caused by the mumps virus.  Symptoms of mumps usually include swelling on one or both sides of the face, tenderness of the salivary glands (the cheek and jaw area), slight fever, headache, general aches, and muscle pain.  The parotid salivary glands (located within the cheek, near the jaw line and below the ears) are most frequently affected.  This swelling of the parotid glands is commonly called “parotitis.”  Swelling of the testicles (orchitis) occurs in 20 to 30 percent of males if infection occurs after puberty.  In rare cases, mumps can cause meningitis (swelling of the brain and spinal cord) or inflammation of the brain itself, known as encephalitis.  Mumps infection during the first three months of pregnancy may be linked to miscarriage.

The mumps virus is found in the saliva and fluid in the nose and throat and spreads from person-to-person by coughing, sneezing, or by direct contract with nose and throat secretions. Infected individuals can transmit the virus two days before symptoms appear and up to five days after symptoms begin.  Symptoms of mumps can appear 12 to 25 days after exposure, but usually begin within 16 to 18 days.

Prior to the successful reduction of mumps through vaccination programs, it was a common childhood disease.  Mumps occurs more often among infants, children and young adults, but can affect a person of any age that had not had the disease or receive the mumps vaccine.  Immunity is usually life long.  Mumps vaccine, which is contained in the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, is recommended to be given on or after a child’s first birthday, and a second dose at four to six years of age.

Maintaining the highest possible level of immunization in the community can prevent mumps.  Persons who may have been exposed should have their immunization status evaluated, watch for signs and symptoms, and seek medical attention as soon as symptoms suggestive of mumps begin.  Persons with mumps should stay home from childcare, school, or work to prevent person-to-person spread for a total of five days starting on the day of parotitis onset until the sixth day after symptoms appear.

Mumps Outbreak, Oklahoma, 2016 - 2017

The Oklahoma State Department of Health and local county health departments continue to investigate and provide a public health response to mumps reports. Outbreak transmission ended approximately June 30, 2017; however, small clusters among groups and institutional settings as well as sporadic cases with no linkage to other known cases continue to be identified.

Outbreak Summary, August 11, 2017

OSDH Mumps Press Release, September 14, 2016

This Page Updated August 11, 2017.


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