Since early September, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has been investigating and providing a public health response to an outbreak of mumps in Oklahoma primarily centered in Garfield County. Recent laboratory tests have confirmed a case of mumps in a Kay County school-aged child. Parents of children in the classroom of the case have been notified by a letter distributed by the school. Information obtained during the case investigation suggests it is unlikely the child was contagious with the mumps virus while in school attendance. The OSDH has also identified a probable case of mumps in a Kay County adult. Both cases have social connections with individuals who are part of the mumps outbreak in Garfield County. State and local public health officials are working closely with schools and healthcare providers to rapidly identify suspected mumps cases and exclude affected persons from childcare centers, schools or workplaces during the timeframe they are able to transmit mumps to other persons.
Mumps is a virus that is spread from one person to another by coughing, sneezing, kissing and other types of direct contact with saliva, such as sharing food or drink with an infected person. Symptoms of mumps include swelling on one or both sides of the face, tenderness of the salivary glands in the cheek and jaw area, slight fever, headache, general aches and muscle pain. The illness usually resolves without medical intervention, but in rare cases can lead to serious complications and hospitalization.
Symptoms usually appear 16-18 days after infection. Infected individuals can transmit the virus two days before symptoms appear and up to five days after symptoms begin.
“If parents observe symptoms of mumps in their child, we are strongly requesting that the child be kept at home for the five days after those symptoms are discovered,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley . “This is the most effective way to prevent the disease from spreading.”
Two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine that are required for school attendance is 88% effective in preventing mumps. The MMR vaccine is recommended on or after a child’s first birthday with a second dose at four to six years of age. People who are born during or after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against mumps should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine. OSDH recommends that parents follow-up with their child’s healthcare provider to determine if the child is up-to-date on their MMR vaccination. Children that need to receive the MMR vaccine may get it from their healthcare provider or the Kay County Health Department.
OSDH has prepared a fact sheet on mumps that can be found at https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/Mumps.pdf.