Four cases of mumps were confirmed earlier this month in Garfield County, and at least 34 more suspected cases are under investigation after students in two Enid Public Schools exhibited symptoms of the disease.
Those currently affected range in age from less than one-year old to 41 years of age, with the majority of cases being found in middle school and high school students. State and local public health officials are working closely with schools and healthcare providers to rapidly identify suspected cases and exclude affected persons from childcare centers, schools or workplaces during the timeframe they are able to transmit mumps to other persons.
Mumps is a virus that is spread from one person to another by coughing, sneezing, and direct contact with saliva, such as eating or drinking after an infected person. Symptoms of mumps include swelling on one or both sides of the face, tenderness of the salivary glands in the cheek and jaw area, slight fever, headache, general aches and muscle pain. The illness usually resolves without medical intervention, but in rare cases can lead to serious complications and hospitalization.
Symptoms usually appear 16-18 days after infection. Infected individuals can transmit the virus two days before symptoms appear and up to five days after symptoms begin.
“If parents observe symptoms of mumps in their child, we are strongly requesting that the child be kept at home for the five days after those symptoms are discovered,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. “This is the most effective way to prevent the disease from spreading.”
Two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine required for school attendance are 88 percent effective in preventing mumps. The MMR vaccine is recommended on or after a child’s first birthday with a second dose at four to six years of age. People who are born during or after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against mumps should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine.