Two mumps cases confirmed at Salt Lake County school

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah - The Salt Lake County Health Department is investigating two confirmed cases of mumps and four probable cases in Salt Lake County.

Officials said this mumps outbreak joins an unrelated measles outbreak in underscoring the importance of all community members being current on recommended vaccines.

The MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is widely available at your health care provider or local health department.

For an immunization appointment, call 385-468-SHOT (7468).

Information from the Salt Lake County Health Department: 

Mumps

The two people infected with mumps attend the same school, and SLCoHD has notified individuals associated with the affected school. In addition to these two confirmed cases, the department is investigating an additional four probable mumps cases that are awaiting test results. These probable cases had contact with one of the confirmed cases.

The two children with confirmed cases are back at school after being quarantined for seven days.

Due to medical privacy laws, more specific information was not available.

Four of the six total mumps cases had received at least one MMR vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one MMR is 78% effective in preventing mumps; the recommended two doses of MMR are 88% effective against the disease. Experts recommend one dose between the ages of 12 and 15 months and a second between the ages of 4 and 6.

"Individuals who are vaccinated, typically if they get sick their disease is much less severe," said Gary Edwards, Director of the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and swollen, tender salivary glands under one or both ears. Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks, but in some cases mumps can result in serious complications, including deafness, meningitis or encephalitis.

"Individuals need to look for signs of fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and then the symptom were all familiar with, the swollen salivary glands and the puffy glands," Edwards said.

However, Audrey Stevenson, Division Director of Family Health Services says that doesn't mean everyone who has flu-like symptoms should start thinking they have mumps.

"In cases where an individual is not recovering or there’s any kind of suspicion they may have been exposed to something, so if they’re hearing from their school or their community that there’s any kind of a disease outbreak they should probably follow up with their primary care provider," Stevenson said.

The health department says most of the cases nationally involve people who were vaccinated. Last year, there were 5,311 cases of mumps reported to the CDC. This year in January, there have been 495 cases reported across 27 different states.

Measles

In Salt Lake County’s ongoing measles outbreak, officials have confirmed one more case in addition to the case announced last week. The new case had contact with the first case.

One of the two individuals with measles had received one MMR vaccine. One MMR is 93% effective in preventing measles; two doses of MMR are 97% effective.

Symptoms of measles include a fever of 101° F or higher, cough, runny nose and a rash that spreads to cover the body. The rash usually occurs within two weeks of exposure. The virus is transmitted by respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing, and is so contagious that over 90 percent of people in close contact with an infectious person will get the disease if they’re not immunized.

If you develop symptoms of measles, call your healthcare provider and let them know you may have measles. It is important that you do not visit a physician’s office, emergency room, lab or any medical clinic without first calling the facility and informing them of your exposure to measles. This will enable the facility to take the necessary precautions to protect other individuals from possible exposure.

In the case of both measles and mumps, the public health system has notified individuals who may have had contact with the infected residents.