Olentangy Valley News

Mumps may have spread; residents urged to take precautions

The Delaware General Health District urged residents Tuesday, March 25, to take precautions against mumps as an outbreak that was linked to Ohio State University spreads.

Several suspected mumps cases currently are under investigation in Delaware County.

The health district encourages those who are at highest risk of mumps to get vaccinated. Those at risk include individuals who have not received any doses of measles-mumps-rubella and those who have received only one of the two doses of MMR. Children should receive the MMR vaccine on or after their first birthday, followed by a second dose at ages 4-6.

Adults born before 1957 most likely had mumps and are considered immune. Adults born in or after 1957 likely have received one dose and may receive a second MMR for enhanced protection.

Residents also are encouraged to prevent the spread by:

• Washing hands frequently

• Covering mouth and nose during a cough or sneeze

• Staying home if sick

• Not sharing cups, utensils or other items

Mumps is a viral illness that is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat of an infected person. It can cause fever, body aches, headaches, fatigue, swelling of salivary glands or pain with chewing or swallowing. Symptoms usually occur 14 to 18 days after infection.

Residents can contact their primary-care provider or the Delaware General Health District at 740-368-1700 for vaccine availability.