Home Emergency Management News Nearly 300 Mumps Cases Reported in Washington State

Nearly 300 Mumps Cases Reported in Washington State

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By Kimberly Arsenault
Contributor, EDM Digest

Officials in Washington State have confirmed that the number of mumps cases across the state have reached nearly 300, including 90 reported cases in Spokane. A total of five counties are included in the outbreak: King, Pierce, Snohomoish, Spokane, and Yakima counties, with mainly school children affected.

Information from the Washington State Department of Health indicates that of the five counties, King County, which includes Seattle, has the highest number of outbreaks at 160 cases, and Yakima County has the lowest number at just one reported case. The website indicates that the next reported mumps update will be posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.

Precautions Urged

The Washington State Department of Health is urging residents to take precautions by avoiding contact with those individuals suspected of having the mumps, and to get vaccinated against the disease if they have not already done so. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination is usually given to children between 12 and 15 months, with a booster shot between the ages of four and six. The CDC reports the vaccination is 88% effective.

Signs and Symptoms of Mumps

The CDC lists symptoms of the mumps virus as swollen and painful salivary glands, fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and a loss of appetite, with symptoms typically appearing 16-18 days after exposure to the virus. The virus usually runs its course in about two weeks, with most people making a full recovery, but care should be taken to avoid contact with others to avoid spreading the disease. Crowded environments where individuals are in close contact often to outbreaks, along with certain behaviors that result in the sharing of saliva such as kissing and hugging, and the sharing of utensils.

Some experts are concerned about the recent mumps outbreaks, which include individuals already fully vaccinated against the disease, and they are now wondering if a third dose is required. A total of 5, 311 cases of mumps were reported by the CDC in 2016, with fewer than 1,300 cases in 2015, and in 2012, a total of only 229 cases were reported.

Other states recently impacted by the mumps virus include Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, New York, and Oklahoma, all of which reported cases totaling more than 300 infected individuals in 2016.

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.