Public health officials are seeing a large increase in mumps cases reported in Colorado, especially in the Denver metro area.
So far, 49 cases of mumps have been reported in Colorado this year--as compared to 17 reported cases in all of 2016. People in the Denver metro area account for 11 of the 14 cases this year.
The outbreak is being investigated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver Public Health, and Tri-County Health Department. Because the investigation is ongoing, officials expect the number of mumps cases will grow.
“Because of the high numbers of mumps cases across the country, it is especially important to make sure your children are vaccinated,” said Rachel Herlihy, director of the Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Both adults and children should make sure they are up to date on their mumps vaccine.”
The mumps vaccine is safe and effective, but does not prevent the virus after you have been exposed. The vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women. Adults born before 1957 are generally considered immune to mumps, but other adults should make sure they have been vaccinated.
Mumps is a viral infection that causes painful swelling in the glands of the cheeks and jaw. Other symptoms may include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, and headache. However, some people do not show any symptoms. Symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after exposure.
A person with mumps can spread the disease from two days before to five days after swelling starts.