Maine CDC Press Release

March 18, 2019

Mumps Confirmed in School-aged Child

AUGUSTA - Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is investigating a confirmed case of mumps at York High School. This is the first mumps case identified in Maine in 2019.

The individual became ill on March 9 and laboratory testing confirmed mumps on March 15. This individual was unvaccinated and acquired mumps while traveling outside the United States. The individual was not isolated during the beginning of their illness and may have exposed others to the virus at York High School from March 6 to March 8 and at the unified basketball game at Massabesic High School gym on March 7.

Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, headache and swelling of the salivary glands (parotitis). Other symptoms associated with mumps include low-grade fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and loss of appetite. Complications can include redness and swelling of the testicles in males, inflammation of the brain or membrane covering the spinal cord, inflammation of the ovaries in females, loss of pregnancy, and permanent hearing loss.

After a person is exposed to mumps, symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but can range from 12 to 25 days. There is no specific treatment for mumps. Anyone with symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for evaluation.

Mumps is spread through saliva or mucus and objects or surfaces touched by an infected person. Mumps does not linger in the air, so people at highest risk are those who share personal items with or who are within 3 feet of an infected individual (close contacts).

Maine CDC is working to notify close contacts and has provided recommendations for the school. The general public, including those who live in the same community, have a low risk of getting mumps from this case.

"Mumps can be prevented through vaccination. Individuals should review their medical records and ensure they are up to date on all vaccines including the MMR vaccine, which protects against mumps," said Dr. Siiri Bennett, State Epidemiologist.

People vaccinated against mumps can still get mumps, but individuals who are fully vaccinated are about nine times less likely to get mumps than unvaccinated people who have the same exposure to mumps virus. A vaccinated person is likely to have less severe illness than an unvaccinated person.

To help reduce the risk of mumps, take these simple precautions:

  • Do not share food, drinks, water bottles, utensils or other personal items that may contain saliva.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Wash your hands before eating or before touching your mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If a tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that may be contaminated with germs. Clean and disinfect communal surfaces frequently.
  • Get vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine if you haven't already.
  • People who get mumps should stay home for five days after onset of symptoms and limit contact with others in their household.

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