Durham County

Orange County confirms three cases of mumps. Are you vulnerable?

Orange County’s Health Department has recently identified three confirmed cases of mumps. In this 2015 file photo, a pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at his practice in Northridge, Calif.
Orange County’s Health Department has recently identified three confirmed cases of mumps. In this 2015 file photo, a pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at his practice in Northridge, Calif. AP

In the last two months, Orange County has identified three confirmed cases of mumps.

Risk of becoming infected is low, especially if you have been properly vaccinated against mumps (2 MMR vaccines). The Orange County Health Department can assist with providing the necessary vaccinations to prevent mumps infection.

Mumps is a viral illness with symptoms that may include low-grade fever, muscle aches, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, headache, and swelling of the face, on either side or both sides, in front or below the ear or jaw, according to a Health Department statement. Though medical complications can occur, most people fully recover from mumps.

Mumps is spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets (from coughing and sneezing) and saliva from an infected person. Symptoms usually begin 16 to 18 days after exposure, but the range can be as short as 14 days and as long as 25 days from the exposure. People with mumps are most infectious two days before their symptoms begin and five days after the onset of symptoms.

If you develop symptoms, stay home and contact a doctor.

The Health Department also advises checking on your immunity. Evidence of immunity includes documentation by the physician who diagnosed you with mumps, if you had the disease in the past; documentation of two mumps-containing vaccines (usually MMR) given on or after your first birthday and administered at least 1 month apart; or documentation of a positive mumps titer (a blood test showing immunity).

If you were born before 1957 you are likely immune to mumps and do not need additional evidence of immunity. People in this age group have likely had mumps in childhood.

For questions or concerns, please call Iulia Vann at 919-245-2425 or email ivann@orangecountync.gov.

Cliff Bellamy: 919-419-6744, @CliffBellamy1

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