2 confirmed cases of mumps, 6 more suspected in Charlotte area

- The Iredell County Health Department has reported a confirmed case of mumps and is currently investigating six other suspected cases to prevent further spread of this vaccine preventable viral disease.  

The Mecklenburg County Health Department also reported a confirmed case of mumps.

Health officials said mumps outbreaks can happen even in highly vaccinated populations.  

Annually the number of reported mumps cases can range from a few hundred to a couple thousand in the United States. 

Officials said anyone who demonstrates symptoms such as: fever, headache, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, muscle ache, pain or discomfort, and tender and/or swelling of the glands below the ears should contact their physician and have appropriate laboratory testing completed. 

The Iredell County Health Department wants the community to educate themselves about the symptoms, transmission, and prevention of mumps. They're encouraging everyone to visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Mumps website, here. 

Here are some answers to some of your questions:

• Mumps is a viral infection of the salivary glands.
• The virus is found in mucous, saliva, and respiratory droplets.
• It is spread through: coughing, sneezing, talking, coming in contact with a person’s saliva. For example: sharing eating utensils, water bottles, cups, food, and more.
• Sanitize hard surfaces that are often touched by others.
• Symptoms start 12-25 days after you are exposed to the virus. A person is more likely to spread the virus in 1-2 days before and up to 5 days after the salivary glands begin to swell. See symptoms above.
• Two different vaccines can prevent mumps--only works before exposure to the virus: MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) and MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Chicken Pox also known as Varicella vaccines).
• Adults born in 1957 or later should have documentation of one MMR vaccine, lab evidence of mumps immunity, or should be vaccinated as soon as possible.
• International travelers, college students, and healthcare workers are recommended to have two doses of MMR vaccine for protection.
• Adults in a community experiencing an outbreak or recently exposed to the disease should have 2 doses of MMR.
• A person with mumps, or suspected of having it, SHOULD NOT go to work, participate in group activities, or have visitors for 5 days after the salivary glands swell, or until a mumps is ruled out.
• There is no treatment for mumps (antibiotics are not effective against a virus), but some medications can help relieve symptoms.
• Practicing good hygiene habits will help reduce illnesses. Get into the habit of regularly washing your hands with soap and water, sneezing and coughing into a tissue or your elbow, and avoid sharing when you or someone else is eating or drinking.

Anyone with further questions or concerns is asked to contact Tawana Covington RN, Communicable Disease Program Manager or Rachael Cope RN Communicable Disease Nurse at (704) 878-5300.

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