BLOOMINGTON — McLean County Health Department on Wednesday confirmed that three cases of mumps have been reported in McLean County.
All three people are in their early 20s and all three have recovered, said Melissa Graven, the health department's communicable disease program supervisor.
"It is not unusual to have mumps cases sporadically," Graven said. "However, with three confirmed cases identified, we wanted the community to be aware."
"We have had mumps cases in our community over the last few years so we know mumps is present," Graven said. "But we want to take this opportunity to protect and promote the health of our community by reminding everyone of the signs and symptoms of mumps; the importance of saying home and calling your health care provider if you suspect you, or your child has mumps; and, ensure the community is up-to-date with the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccaine."
Even though the three people were appropriately vaccinated and still got the mumps, the vaccine can provide protection from developing more serious symptoms and complications, Graven said.
People may reduce their risk of getting and spreading mumps by being up to date with the MMR vaccine; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; avoiding sharing drinks, eating utensils and cigarettes with others; washing hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; cleaning frequently touched surfaces; and staying home when you don't feel well.
People who think they have mumps should stay home and call their health care provider.
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, fatigue, loss of appetite and swelling of the salivary glands. That's what causes the puffy cheeks and tender, swollen jaw. In rare cases, the virus can cause swelling in the testicles and ovaries.
Mumps spreads through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets from the mouth and sharing items that have saliva on them. There is no treatment for mumps but rest, fluids and medication assist with recovery.
To schedule a vaccination, people may contact their health care provider or the health department at 309-888-5435 for adults or 309-888-5455 for children.
Contact Paul Swiech at 309-820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech.
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