July 22, 2014

Mumps return

An illness that was well controlled for many years is making a comeback.

Mumps is a virus infection that has a vaccine to prevent it, but no available medical treatment if you get it. Last year, nobody in Wisconsin contracted Mumps, but there are 51 people in Wisconsin affected so far this year.

Lincoln County Health Nurse Kristi Krombholz says the sick range from six months old to 53 years old, and 59 percent of the cases are college students.

Symptoms start with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, and is followed by swelling of glands and other areas of the body. Worse yet, one in ten will get meningitis and Mumps can cause deafness, encephalitis, and even death.

Mumps is spread through the air by coughing, sneezing, or talking as well as sharing eating or drinking utensils and coming into contact with the spit or mucus of someone with mumps. An infected person can spread Mumps even if they don’t even feel the symptoms yet. Krombholz says it’s important for people to have their immunizations including the MMR vaccine, which is available at county health departments for a very low price.

(Larry Lee, WSAU)