In a follow-up on the mumps situation in Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said Tuesday that the number of mumps cases doubled, increasing from 10 to 21. The cases are related to an outbreak at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska.


Most students have returned home for the summer and some started experiencing symptoms.  New cases have been reported by Cass, Douglas, Dodge, Hall, Madison and Platte counties in the past week. DHHS is working with the local health departments involved to investigate these cases.

“Mumps is an illness caused by a highly contagious virus and this outbreak is ongoing with potential for further spread,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS. “If people start experiencing mumps-like symptoms, they should contact their health care provider, and health care providers should be on the lookout for mumps cases.”

Mumps is spread by coughing, sneezing and sharing saliva.  People with mumps are most contagious for the three days before and five days after their symptoms begin.

To prevent the spread of mumps: Always cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, Wash hands frequently, Dispose of used tissues and other similar objects appropriately and  Do not share glasses, eating utensils, water bottles, etc.

Mumps causes swelling of glands in the face and neck.  Symptoms may include: Ear ache, Jaw pain, Testicular pain, Fever, Fatigue and Muscle aches.

For people with symptoms, health officials recommend avoiding public activities and contacting a physician.

Antibiotics are not a treatment option because mumps is a viral infection; however, the symptoms like pain and fever can be addressed.

People who have had mumps are likely to be immune from the virus.  If a person has been vaccinated, it is less likely, but possible to be become infected because over time immunity wanes.  Those who have not been vaccinated should consider taking that step by contacting their physician, local health department or local pharmacy.

Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of complications.