Ellis County Health Department Issues News Release on Confirmed Mumps Case in Ellis County
Released by the Ellis County Health Department
February 32, 2017
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Ellis County Health Department (ECHD) have identified one confirmed case of mumps in an Ellis County, Kansas resident. ECHD is working with KDHE to determine where the person may have contracted the disease.
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. After the introduction of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, mumps became less common in the United States. From year to year, mumps cases can range from roughly a couple hundred to a couple thousand. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 4,258 cases have been reported in the U.S. as of December 3, 2016, and seven states have reported more than 100 cases. Mumps outbreaks are ongoing in the nearby states of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. Mumps can occasionally cause complications, including inflammation of the testicles or ovaries, meningitis, or encephalitis. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks.
Mumps spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by
- coughing, sneezing, or talking,
- sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others, and
- touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.
Mumps likely spreads two days before the salivary glands begin to swell and up to five days after the swelling begins.
First and foremost, if you think you or a family member have the symptoms of mumps listed above and you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead so appropriate measures can be taken to protect other patients and staff. The clinic will arrange for you to be seen in an environment to minimize exposure of others to the disease.
In addition to staying away from others when you have mumps, you can help prevent the virus from spreading by
- Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoiding sharing drinks or eating utensils.
- Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters.
MMR vaccine prevents most, but not all, cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. People who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine are about nine times less likely to get mumps than unvaccinated people who have the same exposure to mumps virus. However, some people who receive two doses of MMR can still get mumps, especially if they have prolonged, close contact with someone who has the disease. If a vaccinated person does get mumps, they will likely have less severe illness than an unvaccinated person.
“The best way to reduce your chance of getting the disease is by being vaccinated. Protect children by making sure they have the MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old, and again before they enter kindergarten,” said Kerry McCue, Ellis County Health Department Director.
If someone was born after 1957 and has not received the recommended dose of the MMR vaccine, you can contact the Ellis County Health Department (785) 628-9440 or your primary care provider.
The Ellis County Health Department is working closely with KDHE and our local healthcare partners to monitor those individuals affected by this case and to identify contacts that may need to receive medical evaluation.
More information on mumps is available at: