Return to Headlines

Prevent Mumps

The Washington State Health Department Reports a Mumps Outbreak

An outbreak of mumps has developed in Washington State (not in our district) and health officials urge immunization. Get informed about how to prevent mumps, what the symptoms are, and what state vaccine requirements are for schools and students.

 

Mumps is a disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and a loss of appetite. Then a person with mumps may develop swollen cheeks or jaw.

 

Most people with mumps get well in a few weeks. Some people who get mumps may have a mild illness or may not even know that they have the disease. However, mumps can occasionally cause serious health problems, especially in adults. These health problems can include swelling of the brain or deafness. 

 

How can you prevent mumps? 

  • Get the mumps vaccine (included in the MMR vaccine). 
  • Stay away from anyone who has mumps.    
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. 
  • Don’t share cups, spoons, forks, baby bottles, and other utensils. 

What to do if you think you have mumps 

  • Call your doctor if you or your child have the signs of mumps: fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen cheeks or jaw. 
  • Stay home and away from other people. This includes staying away from family as much as possible so they don’t get sick. 

Learn more: 

Mumps Vaccine: Our Best Protection

Mumps is a contagious disease that causes fever, aches, and swelling in the cheek or jaw area. It also can lead to other problems like hearing loss and brain damage. There is no treatment for mumps, but there is a way to prevent it; the combination measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. It protects you and helps stop the spread of the mumps virus to others.

Sometimes people who have MMR vaccine still get mumps. Why is that?

The vaccine is effective at preventing mumps, but it is not perfect. There is still a small chance of getting mumps if you're vaccinated. Nearly 9 out of 10 people get lasting protection from the vaccine.

  

Dr. Jeff Duchin, from Public Health of Seattle King County says, "Because some people do not get lasting protection from the vaccine and mumps spreads easily from person to person, outbreaks can still occur in vaccinated populations. But, if unvaccinated, many, many, more people would become ill.

 Flyer from the State Deparment of Health in English and Spanish