In a follow up to a report yesterday, The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) has received reports of four confirmed cases of mumps infection in city residents, including area college students, and is working closely with university health centers and medical providers to monitor cases and reduce transmission in the community over the coming weeks.
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. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
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.
The MHD recommends that persons experiencing symptoms consistent with mumps infection, especially swelling of one or both salivary glands, 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.