The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is investigating two cases of mumps in high school students in Chaves County. Mumps is a highly contagious disease that is typically preventable through vaccination. Two doses of MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) are recommended. All New Mexico residents should be vaccinated against mumps, if you need to be immunized, see your healthcare provider.


Mumps is spread through the air and by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs or sneezes. The virus can be spread through shared use of drinks, cups or eating utensils. In addition, the virus may spread when someone with mumps touches an item or surface without washing their hands and someone else touches the same surface and rubs their mouth or nose. If you were exposed to mumps, you could become ill 12 to 25 days later. Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease.

“Vaccination will help prevent mumps infection,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “It is important to be up to date with your mumps vaccine.”

Symptoms of mumps include:

  • Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears or jaw on one or both sides of the face
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches

If you develop these symptoms, stay home and contact your healthcare provider. Do not go to work or school until five days after symptoms have started, or until symptoms go away-whichever is later. Contact your health care provider before seeking medical care so as not to expose others to mumps in the waiting room.