In an update on the mumps outbreak in Kansas, officials with the Kansas Department of Health Environment (KDHE) puts the total case count to 70 in 16 counties, up from 56 cases/12 counties on Mar. 4.


The counties most affected include Douglas, Crawford, Johnson and Riley, accounting for six out of 10 cases in the state.

Most cases were fully or partially vaccinated against the virus. Canadian microbiologist, Jason Tetro writes about mumps and the vaccines in a good article HERE

According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data on mumps, 1,242 mumps cases have been reported nationally through Mar. 4.

Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared.

Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. It is usually a mild disease, but can occasionally cause serious complications.

The most common complication is inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty; rarely does this lead to fertility problems.

Other rare complications include inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord(encephalitis/meningitis), inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breasts (mastitis) in females who have reached puberty and deafness. Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.