The outbreak of mumps in Brazil’s Federal District, which includes the Brazilian capital city, Brasília, has grown to nearly 1000 cases and has residents concerned as more cases are reported weekly, according to a Radio Agencia Nacional report (computer translated). The case count currently stands at 960.
According to the CDC, symptoms for mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides. Mumps is spread from direct and indirect contact with an infected person’s respiratory droplets, which can be transmitted by sneezing and coughing. People with mumps can spread their infections for up to two days before and five days after the onset of symptoms. Anyone with symptoms is highly encouraged to stay home and avoid others to prevent the further spread of illness and to seek care as soon as possible.
Mumps is caused by a virus, so antibiotics are not indicated. Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection but can range from 12-25 days. Generally, mumps is a mild illness, and some people may not have any symptoms. While complications and more serious issues can result from a mumps infection, they are generally rare, with a 1 percent to 3 percent complication rate.
The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) prevents most, but not all, cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. Two doses of the vaccine are 88% (range: 66 to 95%) effective at protecting against mumps; one dose is 78% (range: 49% to 92%) effective.