Public Health – Seattle & King County has reported nine confirmed or probable mumps cases in King County, all in the Auburn area, with an additional five cases being investigated.
Eight of the nine mumps cases are among children between 8-17 years of age, with one adult case, 23 years of age. No one has been hospitalized and all of the children have recovered. All of the children were up-to-date on MMR vaccine.
Because mumps is highly contagious, mumps outbreaks can occur even in vaccinated populations because a minority of people don’t respond to the vaccine and remain susceptible.
“Vaccination provides very good protection, but not 100%. MMR vaccine is on average 85% protective for mumps after two doses,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “85% protection is very good and vaccination is the most important step to protect children and adults against mumps, which can be a painful experience, and its uncommon serious complications including meningitis and, inflammation of the brain, testes, ovaries, and other organs.”
Mumps is an illness caused by a virus that can cause fever, headache, and swelling of the cheeks and jaw. Most people recover from mumps in a few weeks. In rare cases, mumps can lead to more serious complications that may require hospitalization, including inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and deafness. Up to 30% of people with mumps infection will have no symptoms.