About Mumps Disease
Mumps is an acute viral infection. Transmission occurs from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or talking; by sharing items such as cups or utensils with others; or by touching objects or surfaces freshly soiled by infected respiratory secretions. Symptoms typically begin with body aches, loss of appetite, fatigue, headache, and low-grade fever, and progress to parotitis (swollen parotid salivary gland/s). Parotitis can be one-sided or occur on both sides. Earache on the side of parotitis and discomfort with eating acidic foods are common. Fever usually resolves within 3 to 5 days, and parotitis resolves within 7 to 10 days. Some people with mumps will experience very mild symptoms or no symptoms. Adolescents and adults have more severe illnesses than young children.
Most persons with mumps will recover completely though serious complications can occur. Complications include testicular inflammation in males, ovarian inflammation in females, aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain), and rarely encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), pancreatitis, deafness, and death.
Symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after being infected with the mumps virus but can range from 12 to 25 days after being infected. A person with mumps is contagious 2 days before through 5 days after parotitis onset.
About Mumps Vaccine
There is a mumps vaccine available to help prevent persons from getting mumps. It is offered as a combination vaccine with measles and rubella (MMR vaccine). This vaccine is safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are 88% effective at preventing mumps. That means if you have 100 people who are fully vaccinated against mumps, 88 would be fully protected, but the remaining 12 could still be at risk at getting mumps. Even though some vaccinated individuals are still getting mumps, they are experiencing a more mild illness than those who are unvaccinated. No vaccine is 100% effective at preventing disease and we would be seeing many more cases of mumps if it were not for the vaccine. The MMR vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself from getting mumps.
Mumps Cases in Kansas
Mumps cases have been reported in multiple counties in Kansas. The Kansas Department of Health Environment and affected local health departments are working closely together to identify cases and implement appropriate isolation and exclusion policies to prevent the further spread of mumps. Many cases are associated with participating in sports, including wrestling and basketball, in Kansas. There are also associations with the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and travel to other states that are also currently experiencing large mumps outbreaks.
Total Reported Cases in Kansas as of June 24, 2017: 158 (cases are subject to change as investigations continue).
For Healthcare Providers
Any persons with suspected mumps should be reported to KDHE's Epidemiology Hotline at 877-427-7317 within 4 hours, prior to receipt of laboratory test results. Timely reporting will allow the collection of specimens for confirmatory testing at the KDHE laboratory and will enable prevention and control measures to be implemented. Suspected mumps patients shall remain at home for 5 days following the onset of parotitis.