The number of mumps cases in Spokane County has more than doubled in the past week as county health officials put the case count at 65 as of Friday. Last Friday, the case count stood at 31.

Two-thirds of those infected are reported as vaccinated (42), while the remaining patients were unvaccinated or their status is unknown.

On Tuesday, Jan.24, free mumps vaccinations will be available during Spokane Homeless Connect at the Salvation Army Community Center on Nora Ave from 10 am to 2 pm.

Statewide, The Washington State Department of Health has reported 235 mumps cases as of Wednesday. King County reports the most cases at 143.

Mumps is an acute infectious viral disease that can cause swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands in the cheeks and jaw.

The virus is spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing and by direct contact with saliva and discharges from the nose and throat of infected individuals. Mumps is contagious three days prior to and four days after the onset of symptoms.

Symptoms of mumps usually appear 14 days to 18 days of infection. They usually include fever, headache, and swelling and tenderness of one or more of the salivary glands, usually the parotid gland (located just below the front of the ear at the angle of the jaw). In mild cases the swelling may only last for three days to four days, but it may go on even up to a week or more. Approximately one-third of infected people do not exhibit symptoms. There is no specific treatment for mumps.

Most complications that may arise involve other organs. Mumps can cause pain and swelling of the testicles, deafness and arthritis. It can cause central nervous system disorders such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal column).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mumps can be prevented with MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. MMR vaccine prevents most, but not all, cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. Two doses of the vaccine are 88% (range: 66-95%) effective at preventing mumps; one dose is 78% (range: 49%−92%) effective.