LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) – The Louisiana Department of Health has confirmed there are 17 cases of mumps in Louisiana. Dr. Tina Stefanski says most of the cases have cropped up at LSU in Baton Rouge.
Dr. Stefanski of the Louisiana Office of Public Health (OPH) says mumps can easily spread through coughing, sneezing, eating food or touching objects that have come into contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.
OPH reports that one third of infected individuals have mild symptoms and may not realize they’re ill. “Maybe sick up to a couple of weeks but most people recover without the more serious symptoms that we see associated with mumps,” says Dr. Stefanski.
Medical experts say the best advice is to take preventive measures through vaccination and know the symptoms. The most common symptoms include: fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite and sometimes swollen and tender salivary glands. “Usually in front of the ear and extends forward. So the jaw line is actually obscured by the swelling,” explains the doctor.
“If someone develops the signs and symptoms talk to your doctor. What’s recommended is that the person remain isolated for a period of time so they avoid exposure to other people,” adds Dr. Stefanski.
OPH reports that preventive measures include receiving two doses of the MMR vaccine. The vaccine is included in the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.
For more information on the mumps go to http://www.cdc.gov/mumps