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Mumps vaccine urged for individuals in high risk category

Columbus Public Health officials continue to investigate a growing number of mumps cases in the Franklin County community, with many of these cases linked to Ohio State University students who may live in other communities in Ohio.

Thus far, officials from the Logan County Health District report that Logan County has not seen any mumps cases. However, Logan County Health Commissioner Dr. Boyd Hoddinott joins Columbus Public Health in encouraging individuals at highest risk of mumps to be vaccinated.

Those highest at risk are: individuals who have never received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, and those who have only received one dose.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children should receive their first dose of mumps-containing vaccine at 12-15 months and their second dose at 4-6 years. All adults born during or after 1957 should have documentation of one dose.

Adults at higher risk, such as university students, health care personnel, and international travelers, and persons with potential mumps outbreak exposure should have documentation of two doses of mumps vaccine or other proof of immunity to mumps.

Mumps are spread by droplets of saliva or mucous from the nose, nose or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by the infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated especially when the items are shared.

Since most mumps transmissions are likely to occur before the salivary glands begin to swell and within five days after the swelling begins, the CDC recommends that mumps patients be isolated for five days after their glands begin to swell.

Among males, mumps can lead to orchitis, a testicular inflammation that causes pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting and fever. Among some women with mumps, inflammation of the ovaries or breasts can occur.   About 15 percent of people with mumps may also suffer headaches and stiff necks.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their local health care professional immediately.

To prevent the spread of the illness, individuals should cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing and wash their hands frequently with soap and water.

More information is available at www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html.   

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