Wake, Orange students diagnosed with mumps
Posted May 4
Raleigh, N.C. — Seven cases of mumps were found in college and elementary school students in Wake, Orange and Watauga counties in April, state health officials said Thursday.
Mumps is a viral illness best known for causing swelling of the salivary glands below the ears and above the jaw, called parotitis. Infection is spread by droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected person. In boys and men, mumps can also cause inflammation of the testicles, called orchitis.
A person with confirmed or suspected mumps should stay home from work or school and limit close contact with others for five days after the salivary glands swell or until mumps is ruled out, officials said.
"The most effective way to prevent mumps is to get vaccinated," State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore said in a statement. "Anyone who thinks they might have mumps should contact their physician and have appropriate laboratory testing."
While it's still possible for people who have been vaccinated to get mumps, the risk is much higher in those who aren't vaccinated. The risk for complications from mumps is also lower in people who are vaccinated compared with those who aren't, officials said.
People should speak with their personal physician to determine whether their vaccines are up to date, officials said.
Practicing good hygiene, such as frequent hand washing with soap and water, covering your mouth when coughing and not sharing cups or food utensils, can reduce the risk of spreading the illness.