WASATCH COUNTY, Utah – Mumps cases in Utah are nearly at quintuple the yearly average after two more instances of the virus were announced Wednesday.
Two more instances of the mumps virus came to light Wednesday with a confirmed case in Utah County and a suspected case in Wasatch County.
The first was a confirmed case impacting an un-vaccinated adult in Utah County and the Utah County Health Department said they believe they contracted it from someone who was infected, they are working to notify anyone they may have been in contact with during their infectious period. The incubation period lasts between 16-18 days, infected persons can be contagious starting two days prior to showing symptoms and up until five days after.
The second, a suspected case out of Wasatch County, impacting a student at Old Mill Elementary who was fully immunized.
The boy's mother sent a statement to FOX 13 saying in part, “I felt like I needed to let out community know because 1) if you see the same symptoms in you or your kids, that it’s possible it could be mumps and 2) even if you are vaccinated it could be mumps.”
The vaccine is not 100% effective. According to the health department, it is 78% effective if you’ve had one dose and 88% effective if you’ve had two doses.
The Wasatch and Utah County Health Departments do not believe these cases are related and do not believe anyone else was infected.
According to the Utah Department of Health, the state typically sees two-to-three mumps cases per year. The announcement Wednesday brings the total number of confirmed cases for 2019 to 14, not including the suspected case.
“Sometimes we get a false sense of security thinking, ‘Oh we don’t get mumps or measles or rubella or other infections like that anymore,’” said Lisa Guerra, an epidemiologist with the Utah County Health Department. “We still can get these cases and it’s important to receive your immunizations.”
Mumps is an infectious disease and is not treatable. Symptoms can include swelling of the periodic glands, which is the area right below and in front of the ear, as well as pain and fever.
The health department said in serious cases it can cause men to become sterile and it can also cause deafness.
If you believe you are showing symptoms of mumps, the health department asks that you call your healthcare provider and stay home.
The health department said the vaccination is still the best method of prevention. For more information on the mumps vaccination, contact the Utah Immunization Hotline at 1-800-257-0659.