/District Monitors for Mumps Cases Connected to Outbreak in Midwest

District Monitors for Mumps Cases Connected to Outbreak in Midwest

Public encouraged to review immunization status and practice good respiratory hygiene

April 25, 2006

LAS VEGAS – April 25, 2006 – The Southern Nevada Health District is actively monitoring the mumps outbreak in Iowa and its neighboring states. No local cases of mumps have been reported in connection with the outbreak. However, contagious people may occasionally travel through our community potentially exposing others. Advisories on mumps symptoms, transmission, prevention and environmental cleanup have been distributed to local health care providers, hotels and resorts. Additionally, the district is advising the public to review their immunization status, and practice good respiratory hygiene.

“While there is no treatment for mumps, in most people, it is preventable through vaccination,” said Dr. Donald Kwalick, chief health officer for the health district. “Adults should have one dose of the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine, while children should have had two doses.”

Because mumps is easily spread from person to person, the health district reminds the public to practice good respiratory hygiene:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after using the restroom and before eating.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home from work or school if you are ill.

Mumps is a viral infection that primarily affects the salivary glands. Symptoms include swollen glands in front of and below the ear, headache, low-grade fever and earache. Mumps is spread when an ill person sneezes or coughs into the air and a healthy person inhales droplets containing the virus. A person with mumps can spread it to others three days before symptoms appear through about four days after, but is most contagious 48 hours before illness begins. Anyone who has not been vaccinated and has never had mumps is at risk for infection. Additionally, there have been instances of vaccinated persons catching the virus. This is expected since the mumps vaccine is roughly 95 percent effective.

To date, the Iowa Department of Public Health has reported more than 800 cases of mumps; typically the state reports about five cases each year. The states of Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Missouri and Oklahoma have reported a total of 350 cases.

From 2001 through 2005 there were 11 cases of mumps reported in Clark County. No cases have been reported in 2006. For more information on mumps, visit the health district website at www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org. Anyone experiencing symptoms of mumps should contact a physician immediately.

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The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.