Marion County Health Department is investigating an outbreak of mumps.  Since October 3, there have been 12 suspect mumps cases reported. Laboratory tests done within the last two weeks confirmed that four of those cases were infected with mumps. The age range of affected individuals is 1 year of age to age 40.

Mumps virus/CDC
Mumps virus/CDC

Mumps is a disease caused by a virus. The virus is spread when a person who has mumps coughs or sneezes. Signs of illness include fever, headache, muscles aches, tiredness, and swelling under the ears or jaws.  People can usually spread the virus to others from two days before signs of illness start until five days after swelling under the jaw appears. It usually takes two weeks (12-25 days) to develop signs of illness after being exposed to someone with mumps.

“The best way you can prevent mumps is to get the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine,” says Dr. Karen Landers, Marion County Health Officer. Routine childhood MMR vaccination starts at one year of age. Oregon requires students who attend school to have two doses of MMR, starting with children entering kindergarten. A second vaccine dose should be received at least 28 days after the first dose. Call your health care provider or Marion County Health Department at (503) 588-5342 to schedule an appointment to update your or your child’s MMR vaccination.

People who have been exposed to mumps should watch for signs of illness in the next 25 days and contact a health care provider if signs of illness develop. Anyone who is diagnosed or has signs of mumps should stay at home for five days after the start of the swelling. Those with mumps should not go to school, work, public places or social activities.