In a follow-up report on the mumps outbreak in North Dakota, health officials today put the case count at 14 since late February.


Eight of the cases were reported from Ward County while case were also reported from Stark, McHenry, and Cass Counties.

Mumps is a viral illness best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes as a result of swollen salivary glands. The most common symptoms include: Fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis).

Mumps is generally a mild illness, but can cause complications, such as deafness, and inflammation of the testicles, brain, and ovaries. Symptoms may appear from 12 to 25 days after infection. People with symptoms are recommended to see a health care provider for testing, because other illnesses, including influenza, can cause parotitis.

“The best way to prevent mumps is to be vaccinated,” according to Molly Howell, Immunization Program Manager for The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH).

Health officials urge residents  to be sure they have received their MMR vaccine. Anyone with symptoms of mumps should be evaluated by a health care provider, and, if they have mumps, stay home for five days after symptoms started, and avoid contact with others.