The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) has received reports of three confirmed cases of mumps infection in city residents, including area college students and community members.
Mumps is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the mumps virus. It is spread through the air by droplets and contact with saliva or mucus from infected persons. Mumps can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing as well as sharing food or beverage items and utensils with infected individuals.
Symptoms of mumps include fever, body aches, headaches, and swelling or pain of the salivary glands near the ears and jaw. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should contact his/her health care provider for diagnosis and testing.
The MHD recommends that persons experiencing symptoms consistent with mumps infection, especially swelling of one or both salivary glands, call your healthcare provider and stay home from work or school for a minimum of five days after the onset of swelling. Individuals are also advised to cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing and wash hands frequently with soap and water.
While most individuals recover fully, mumps infection can occasionally cause serious complications in adults that can include inflammation of the testicles in men or ovaries and breasts in women, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), and temporary or permanent deafness.
Vaccination with two doses of Mumps-Measles-Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps infection. Public health officials advise individuals to be aware of their vaccination status, and seek advice from a health care provider if your vaccinations are not up to date.