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Suspected case of mumps in Wasatch County adds to cases in Utah, Sanpete Counties

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FILE- This Feb. 6, 2015, file photo, shows a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine on a countertop at a pediatrics clinic in Greenbrae, Calif. Health officials say the number of confirmed cases of measles in western Washington has grown to 30, with nine more cases suspected. Clark County Public Health said Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, that 29 of the cases are in southwest Washington and one confirmed case is in King County, which is home to Seattle. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

A suspected case of mumps was identified on Wednesday by the Wasatch County Health Department.

The department released a news advisory stating the suspected case of mumps is that of a fully immunized student who attends Old Mill Elementary. The case was diagnosed sometime between May 6 and Monday.

Wasatch County School District’s Health Services Department was notified by the parents of the student's diagnosis on Wednesday after receiving information from the family's physician.

Upon notification, and per district protocol, the district nurse collaborated with the health department to determine the status of the case and the appropriate actions to take, the advisory said.

Based on criteria established by the Utah Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the health department classified the diagnosis as a suspected case of mumps.

Since the case is both isolated and suspected, the Wasatch County Health Department has recommended that no other students be excluded from school.

District personnel and the Wasatch County Health Department are continuing to monitor the situation and will notify parents/guardians immediately of any changes.

Mumps is a viral illness with an incubation period of 16-18 days. The district suggests parents at the affected school monitor their children over the next two weeks for signs and symptoms of mumps:

  • Pain, tenderness, and swelling in one or both cheek or jaw areas.
  • Swelling, usually peaking in 1-3 days and then subsiding during the next week.
  • Low-grade fever lasting 3-4 days.
  • Difficulty eating.
  • Tiredness.
  • Headache.

The news advisory stated:

Anyone experiencing swelling of the cheek or jaw in combination with any of the above symptoms should call their healthcare provider immediately, and should notify them of the symptoms prior to arriving.

An unvaccinated individual in Utah County was also diagnosed with mumps, according to a press release from the Utah County Health Department.

The adult's identity is not being released and the department is investigating the case.

Furthermore, at least six Sanpete County residents have tested positive for mumps, according to the Central Utah Health Department.

Results in five more suspected cases are still pending, said department spokesperson Mike Grimley to 2News in a report May 1, 2019.

The best method of prevention for mumps is via the MMR vaccine. Those who wish to ensure they are fully immunized may do so either through their local health department or healthcare provider.

Mumps outbreaks are not out of the ordinary, according to the CDC. The federal agency says after the U.S. mumps vaccination program started in 1967, there has been a more than 99% decrease in mumps cases across the nation.

However, mumps outbreaks still occur, particularly in settings where people have close, prolonged contacts, such as universities and close-knit communities.

The CDC states examples of this include people who:

  • Are strongly connected by social, cultural, or family ties
  • Participate in communal activities
  • Share a common living space

During these outbreaks, people who previously had one or two doses of MMR vaccine can get mumps, too, the CDC added.

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