The state Department of Health and Human Services reported 21 cases of mumps earlier this week. That is up from ten cases in mid-May. Those infected are in Cass, Douglas, Dodge, Hall, Madison, and Platte counties, and not all are Midland University students, according to DHHS.
Dr. Tom Safranek says the priority is making people aware mumps cases are out there.
“The only thing we can do right now is infection control precautions,” Safranek tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Any individual who is diagnosed with it has to quarantine themselves. They have to isolate themselves from other individuals during their infectious period.”
The mumps virus is spread through saliva by coughing, sneezing, and sharing cups, water bottles and silverware.
People with mumps are most contagious for the three days before and five days after symptoms begin.
Safranek says it seems those who were vaccinated could not fight off the virus.
“Unfortunately, these vaccines are not perfect,” he says. “Some situations, we’re recommending a third dose of the vaccine. We’re not doing that broadly and universally, but in certain, select situations, there may be a role for getting a third booster dose of the mumps vaccine and that appears to be protective.”
If you think you have the mumps, Safranek says you should stay home and contact your doctor.
Symptoms of the mumps may include:
- Ear ache
- Jaw pain
- Testicular pain
- Muscle aches
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:44]