SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — At least six cases of mumps have been reported among people "associated with or employed by Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort", according to the Summit County's health department.

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC).

Public health officials said they believe there is a "minimal" risk to people who have been to the ski area recently. There is also currently no evidence that the disease had spread to a larger community, according to a release from the heath department. 

“Arapahoe Basin has been fully cooperating and closely coordinating with Summit County Public Health to support affected employees and protect all staff and the public," Sara Lopez, nursing manager for Summit County Public Health, said in the release.

Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands. This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. 

An infected person can spread the virus in the following ways, according to the CDC:

  • coughing, sneezing, or talking
  • sharing items that may have saliva on them, such as water bottles or cups
  • participating in close-contact activities with others, such as playing sports, dancing, or kissing
  • touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others

The vaccine has drastically reduced mumps cases, however, outbreaks still occur, according to the CDC website. The outbreaks most commonly occur among groups of people who have prolonged, close contact.

From January 1 to April 26, 2019, 41 states and the District of Columbia reported mumps infections in 736 people to the CDC. 

At least 49 cases of mumps were reported in the Denver area in 2017.

Health officials are asking people who have symptoms of mumps to consult with their health care provider or call Summit County Public Health at 970-668-9161.

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