FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Health Department is investigating seven possible cases of mumps in the county.
“Mumps-like symptoms have been reported at local medical offices and those individuals are being tested for mumps,” County public health coordinator Michael Meddis said. “For the individuals with the seven probable cases of mumps, a treatment of bed rest, fluid intake and fever reduction has been recommended to reduce their symptoms.”
If you are experiencing the swelling of salivary glands along with fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite you should seek medical attention and call your local health department.
Meddis added that the investigation is ongoing with the Monmouth County Health Department staff working to determine the possible source of the infection. Once that is completed, the Health Department will be able to determine the next course of action.
People who were vaccinated with the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, as an infant and again between the ages of 4 and 6, are 90 percent less likely to contract mumps, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
If you have mumps, or most other illnesses, there are several things you can do to help prevent spreading the virus to others:
- Wash hands well and often with soap, and teach children to wash their hands too.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
- Stay home from work or school for five days after your glands begin to swell, and try not to have close contact with other people who live in your house.
Other recommendations are:
- Minimize close contact with other people, especially babies and people with weakened immune systems who cannot be vaccinated.
- Don’t share drinks or eating utensils.
- Regularly clean surfaces that are frequently touched (such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters) with soap and water or with cleaning wipes.
Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared.
Most mumps transmission likely occurs before the salivary glands begin to swell and within the 5 days after the swelling begins. Therefore, CDC recommends isolating mumps patients for 5 days after their glands begin to swell.
Anyone who presents such symptoms should contact their health care professional immediately.
More information about mumps is available from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html.