ALERT: Mumps Outbreak in Washington Continue to Take Toll, Nearly 300 Confirmed Cases
State officials have recently confirmed that the outbreak of mumps cases in Washington continue to rise, reaching over 300 confirmed and probable cases across five different counties since October.
According to the Mumps Outbreak report of the Washington State Department of Health, King County has the highest number of confirmed and probable cases of mumps with 163.
Following King County are the Spokane County and Pierce County with 92 and 36 cases respectively. Grant County and Snohomish County both have 3 cases each. There are two reported cases of mumps in Ferry County, while Thurston County and Yakima County both have one case.
The Washington State Department of Health is urging people across the state to take necessary precautions to prevent further outbreak of the viral disease.
The MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella virus, remains the best protection against mumps. People with suspected case of mumps should immediately contact their healthcare provider and to stay home.
"The MMR vaccine is not perfect, but it is the best protection we have against mumps," Dave Johnson, spokesman for the Washington State Department of Health, in a report from Gizmodo. "Two doses gives lifelong protection against mumps to 88 percent or about 9 out of 10 people," he added.
People who have suspected cases of mumps should also avoid kissing, hugging or other close contact with anyone to avoid the spread of the virus. Initial symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite and tiredness that may last for a few days. The patient will then appear to have puffy cheeks or swollen jaws due to the swelling of the salivary glands.
Mumps have an incubation period from 12 to 25 days. Bed rest and over-the-counter medications are the usual recommendations for patients suffering from mumps. Symptoms may last at least two days. However, usual cases may take more than 10 days before the symptoms disappear.