The mumps outbreak in Washington grew by another 38 cases during the past week putting the total at 624, according to health officials Wednesday.
The outbreak has affected a dozen counties to date. Seventy-nine of the cases have been reported in Spokane County (270) and King County (222).
After reporting the first case in mid-February, the University of Washington outbreak has grown to 12. All of the cases to-date are students who are associated with several sororities and fraternities.
Mumps is spread through coughing and sneezing and sharing cups and utensils. While vaccination is the best protection against mumps, even people who are vaccinated can become infected. People should also prevent spreading mumps and other illnesses by covering coughs and sneezes, washing their hands frequently with soap and water, and not sharing food and drinks.
Mumps symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low fever, tiredness and muscle aches. People usually develop symptoms 14-18 days after being exposed to the virus that causes mumps, but it can be as long as 25 days. People who think they have mumps should contact their health care provider, and anyone suspected of having mumps should stay home while they’re contagious – five days after swollen glands occur.