West Side Health & Fitness News & Notes
SCPH issues mumps update, vaccine recommendations
SUMMIT COUNTY — On March 24, Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health declared a community-wide outbreak of mumps. As of April 16, 234 mumps cases have been reported in Franklin and Delaware counties. To date, 145 cases have been linked to The Ohio State University outbreak.
According to Summit County Public Health (SCPH) officials, mumps is a viral illness that affects the salivary glands. It is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and a noninfected person inhales respiratory droplets that contain the virus. Symptoms include fever, body aches, headaches and swelling of the salivary glands under the ears or jaw. On average, symptoms develop between 16 and 18 days after exposure to an infected person, but can be as long as 25 days.
According to SCPH officials, mumps is spread in much the same way as the flu, most commonly through coughing and sneezing. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should contact his or her health care professional immediately. Those who are diagnosed with mumps should stay at home for five days after symptoms begin, cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze and wash their hands frequently with soap and water, according to SCPH officials, who added that the best way to decrease an individual’s risk of getting mumps is to be vaccinated.
SCPH is encouraging individuals who are at highest risk — those who have not received any doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) — to get vaccinated. A vaccine should be routinely given when children are 12 to 15 months old, and a second dose should be given when they are 4 to 6 years old. Two doses of the vaccine are more effective against mumps than one dose and prevent most, but not all, cases of mumps and mumps complications, according to SCPH officials.
Anyone who has not received any doses of MMR/MMRV, those who have received only one dose of MMR/MMRV or those who do not have documented immunity against mumps should be vaccinated, according to SCPH officials. Additionally, people born before 1987 are likely to have received just one or no MMR doses and should also be vaccinated.
For additional information, www.scphoh.org or call 330-923-4891.
Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.
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