The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) has received reports of four confirmed cases of mumps infection in city residents, including area college students, and is working closely with university health centers and medical providers to monitor cases and reduce transmission in the community over the coming weeks.
Mumps is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the mumps virus. It is spread by airborne droplets and contact with saliva or mucus from infected persons. Mumps can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing as well as sharing food or beverage items and utensils with infected individuals. Symptoms of mumps include fever, body aches, headaches, and swelling of the salivary glands near the ears and jaw. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should contact his/her health care provider for diagnosis and testing.
The MHD recommends that persons experiencing symptoms consistent with mumps infection, especially swelling of one or both salivary glands, stay home from work or school for a minimum of five days after the onset of swelling. Individuals are also advised to cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing and wash hands frequently with soap and water. While most individuals recover fully, mumps infection can occasionally cause serious complications in adults that can include inflammation of the testicles in men or ovaries and breasts in women, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), and temporary or permanent deafness.
Vaccination with two doses of Mumps-Measles-Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps infection. Public health officials advise individuals to be aware of their vaccination status, and seek advice from a health care provider if your vaccinations are not up to date.
For more information, visit www.milwaukee.gov/health or www.cdc.gov/mumps.