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FOR RELEASE: April 10 , 2006
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Oklahoma Health Officials Monitoring for Mumps Cases

Following a statewide outbreak of mumps cases in Iowa that has spread to neighboring states including Missouri, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is working to prevent such an outbreak in Oklahoma.

Although no cases related to Iowa’s outbreak have yet been identified in Oklahoma, the OSDH is encouraging children and adults through 30 years of age who have not received the recommended two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine to complete the MMR series.

The first dose is typically given on or after the first birthday; the second dose is given at 4 to 6 years of age, however, for those not fully vaccinated the doses can be given anytime one month apart. The MMR vaccine is available through health care providers or local county health departments.

Iowa health officials have received reports of more than 360 cases of mumps since January this year with the majority of cases (85 percent) occurring since March. Cases have ranged in age from 2 to 85 years; however, most cases are between 18 and 30 years old. Twenty-one percent of the cases reported in Iowa are students currently attending a college or university. Despite control efforts, this outbreak has spread across 39 counties in Iowa and to neighboring states, including Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Missouri.

Mumps is an infection caused by the mumps virus that can result in swelling with tenderness of the salivary glands (the cheek and jaw area) along with fever. Swelling may occur on one or both sides of the face, usually the parotid gland (located just below the front of the ear). Other symptoms include headache, general aches and muscle pains. Most people start to show signs of mumps within 14 to 25 days after they are exposed.

Mumps can affect any person of any age who has not had the disease or been adequately immunized against it; however, it is more common among children and young adults. The virus is spread from person-to-person by coughing, sneezing, or by direct contact to saliva and discharges from the nose and throat. Persons with mumps should not attend school or work for at least five days after symptoms start.

The OSDH is recommending that Oklahomans check their immunization records for MMR vaccinations. Persons 4 years of age and older are recommended to have two doses of this vaccine unless born prior to 1957. In addition, public health officials want to encourage health care workers and college students to get the two doses of MMR vaccine.

For more information about the MMR vaccine, please contact your health care provider or local county health department.

 

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