LINCOLN – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has seen a significant increase in mumps cases related to two recent outbreaks.

At least 30 cases have been identified mainly among attendees of a wedding in Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department’s jurisdiction (Cedar, Dixon, Thurston and Wayne counties) and a workplace in Four Corners Health Department’s jurisdiction (Butler, Polk, York and Seward counties).

DHHS is working with local health departments to investigate reported cases.

“Mumps is a highly contagious illness and it’s spread by coughing, sneezing and sharing saliva,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS. “If people start experiencing mumps-like symptoms, they should contact their health care provider, and health care providers should be on the lookout for mumps cases.”

Mumps causes swelling of glands in the face and neck. Other symptoms may include• ear ache, jaw pain, testicular pain, fever, fatigue and muscle aches.

If people have symptoms of mumps, health officials recommend avoiding public activities and contacting a physician.

People with mumps are most contagious three days before and five days after their symptoms begin.

Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of complications from the mumps virus.

Antibiotics are not a treatment for mumps because mumps is a viral infection; however, symptoms like pain and fever can be addressed.

People who have had mumps are likely to be immune from the virus. If a person has been vaccinated, it is less likely, but possible to become infected. Over time, protection against the virus can decrease. Mumps-containing vaccines are still the best line of defense and people are encouraged to check their vaccination records to see if they have received two doses of a mumps-containing vaccine, and if not, contact your health care provider.

Protect yourself against mumps:

– Get vaccinated

– Do not share drinking glasses, eating utensils, water bottles, or other things that have saliva on them

– Always cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze

– Stay home when you’re

sick

– Wash hands frequently

– Clean and disinfect surfaces

Some quick stats about mumps cases in Nebraska. There have been 30 cases far in 2019; 12 cases in 2018; 6 cases in 2017; 49 cases in 2016; 5 cases in 2015; 1 case in 2014 and 2 cases in 2013.

Additional information on mumps is available at http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Mumps.aspx or http://cdc.gov/mumps.

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