Mumps Outbreak in Oklahoma

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Parents have been alerted by Health officials in Kay County after a case of mumps was discovered in a child. Test confirmed the case last Monday.

Mumps is most recognisable by the painful swellings at the side of the face under the ears (the parotid glands).

Other symptoms include slight fever, headache, general aches and muscle pain. Mumps is a  contagious virus spread by coughing, sneezing and direct contact with saliva, for example drinking after after an infected person.

Over the last two months four cases have been confirmed by officials in Garfield County and many others suspected.

There’s currently no cure for mumps, but the infection should pass within one or two weeks.

Treatment is used to relieve symptoms and includes:

  • bed rest and fluids
  • using painkillers, such as paracetamol – aspirin shouldn’t be given to children under 16
  • applying a warm or cool compress to the swollen glands to help relieve pain

“If parents observe symptoms of mumps in their child, we are strongly requesting that the child be kept at home for the five days after those symptoms are discovered,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. “This is the most effective way to prevent the disease from spreading.”

Two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine required for school attendance are 88 percent effective in preventing mumps. The MMR vaccine is recommended on or after a child’s first birthday with a second dose at four to six years of age.

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