The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported 56 mumps cases from 12 counties as of their latest update on Mar. 4. State and local health departments are working closely together to identify cases and implement appropriate isolation and exclusion policies to prevent further spread of mumps.

Image/KDHE screen shot
Image/KDHE screen shot

Crawford and Douglas Counties have recorded the most mumps with 13 and 11 cases, respectively.

Health officials say many cases have reported attendance to wrestling tournaments in Kansas, have associations to the University of Kansas or Kansas State University, or reported travel to other states that are also currently experiencing large mumps outbreaks.

55 percent of the cases were fully vaccinated for mumps. Three patients reportedly had complications to mumps and one person required hospitalization for their illness.

Mumps is an acute viral infection. Transmission occurs from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or talking; by sharing items such as cups or utensils with others; or by touching objects or surfaces freshly soiled by infected respiratory secretions. Symptoms typically begin with body aches, loss of appetite, fatigue, headache, and low grade fever, and progress to parotitis (swollen parotid salivary gland/s). Parotitis can be one-sided or occur on both sides. Earache on the side of parotitis and discomfort with eating acidic foods are common. Fever usually resolves within 3 to 5 days, and parotitis resolves within 7 to 10 days. Some people with mumps will experience very mild symptoms or no symptoms. Adolescents and adults have more severe illness than young children.

Most persons with mumps will recover completely though serious complications can occur. Complications include testicular inflammation in males, ovarian inflammation in females, aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain), and rarely encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), pancreatitis, deafness, and death.

Symptoms usually appear 16-18 days after being infected with the mumps virus, but can range from 12-25 days after being infected. A person with mumps is contagious 2 days before through 5 days after parotitis onset.

There is a mumps vaccine available to help prevent persons from getting mumps. It is offered as a combination vaccine with measles and rubella (MMR vaccine). This vaccine is safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are 88% effective at preventing mumps. That means if you have 100 people who are fully vaccinated against mumps, 88 would be fully protected, but the remaining 12 could still be at risk at getting mumps. Even though some vaccinated individuals are still getting mumps, they are experiencing a more mild illness than those who are unvaccinated. No vaccine is 100% effective at preventing disease and we would be seeing many more cases of mumps if it were not for the vaccine. The MMR vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself from getting mumps.