Knowing the status of yourself and your family is the best mumps prevention.
As of March 22, 2018, there has been 944 confirmed cases of the mumps in Hawaii. Mumps is highly contagious and creates a threat to you, your family and the community. Gestation of the disease, immunization status and exposure can be confusing; however, knowing the status of yourself and your family is the best prevention.
Mumps is caused by a virus. It typically starts with fever, headache, achy muscles and fatigue; followed by loss of appetite and swollen salivary glands. Serious complications can develop; however, the normal course of the virus is 2 weeks and is best treated with plenty of fluids, bed rest and fever control.
Full testing of the mumps includes: swab from inside the mouth and urine testing. A blood draw is reserved for people who have clinical symptoms of the mumps. The blood draw requires two weeks for results; therefore, you or your child has been exposed and has symptoms, they should isolate for 9 days after the onset of swollen glands or until their testing results are proven to be negative.
The CDC reports that the current outbreak is due to waning immunity from previous immunizations. Therefore, the best prevention is a booster shot for those who have been previously immunized. However, booster shots will only protect one from FUTURE exposures and will not be effective in treating a recent exposure to the mumps. Therefore, the best advice is to see your doctor for an MMR booster.
Symptoms of mumps infection:
- Swollen glands in front of the ears or jaw on one or both sides
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Some people may have very mild symptoms and others may feel sick with no swollen glands.
- The symptoms usually start 16-18 days after infection with the virus, onset can range from 12 to 25 days.
Contact with saliva or mucus from the mouth nose or throat of an infected person. An infected person can spread the virus by:
- Coughing, sneezing or talking
- Sharing items, cups eating utensils
- Touching surfaces with out washing hands that are then touched by others
- Get MMR booster or initial series of MMR vaccinations
- Wash hands
- Stay home if you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze
- Those who are symptomatic should be tested self-isolate for 9 days after onset of swelling of the glands
- Those who have been exposed to mumps and are not vaccinated should be tested and not attend school, work or travel from day 12 through 25 after exposure
- There is no specific treatment for mumps
- Ensure adequate fluids, bed rest and fever control.
- Most people recover completely in 2 weeks.