Mumps cases increase to 56 in OhioCNN reports there have now been over fifty-six cases of mumps reported in Ohio. The cases, which started at the Ohio State University in Columbus, have now spread outside of the school to those who do not have ties to the campus.
Initially, there were reports of forty people who either taught or attended the school who had contracted the virus, but now, according to Jose Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Columbus health department, there are another sixteen individuals who have acquired the condition who are not been connected to the school.
Where did the mumps outbreak originate?
Officials have been investigating the recent mumps outbreak, but they claim it will be difficult to determine where the virus actually originated. Those who have been infected with mumps are currently being treated with the vaccination, which is commonly given to children for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
According to officials the virus is very contagious. "It is an easy disease to give and get, much like the flu or cold, and it spreads in highly populated areas," Rodriguez said.
Officials have been alarmed about the recent outbreak, which is much higher than what they have historically seen. According to Rodriguez, its not uncommon for one or two cases to be reported each year in Franklin Country, but this recent outbreak is very unusual.
What are the symptoms of the mumps?
Although the United States has seen a 98% decrease in reported mumps cases since they introduced the vaccine in the 1960s, the virus has not been completely eradicated. If you are infected with the mumps virus you may have a variety or symptoms or no symptoms at all.
The most common symptoms which appear two to three weeks after you have been infected by the virus include fever, headaches, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite and swollen salivary glands on both or one side of you face. Its also not uncommon for those with mumps to be diagnosed with other conditions because the symptoms of mumps so closely mirrors other conditions such as a blocked salivary glands or tonsillitis.
What if mumps is left untreated?
Serious conditions may result if mumps is left untreated. For instance, some infected male patients may develop inflammation of the testicles, which is called orchitis. Females may develop swelling of their ovaries. Males can become sterile, while females may have a higher than normal risk of miscarriage if they develop the condition while they are pregnant.
Fatal conditions which can result from contracting mumps include meningitis or encephalitis. Meningitis is swelling of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, while encephalitis is swelling of the brain. An indication you may have a potential life-threatening condition includes loss of consciousness, severe headaches and seizures.
Mumps has been dramatically lowered through vaccinations. In fact, most babies are given the vaccination for mumps, rubella and measles by the age of 12 to 15 months. They also receive a second dose between 4 and 6 years of age.