County health officials looking into possible case of mumps

Child may have contracted disease at local daycare center


CLAY COUNTY – Health officials diagnosed a possible case of mumps recently in a child younger than 4.

The child was vaccinated according to the Clay Department of Health. The area the child contracted mumps was not released, nor was the name of the daycare. The case was reported on May 29, and officials said they were working to figure out how it was transmitted.

“It’s unclear where the child was exposed to the virus at this time however, sporadic cases of mumps are common in the United States,” Clay DOH Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Sonny Rodgers said. “FDOH Clay continues to investigate this situation and monitor for other cases.”

Mumps vaccinations, called MMR for Measles, Mumps and Rubella, are usually given to children at 9-15 months and again from ages 4-6.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, early symptoms include fever, headache and muscle aches, appearing at least two weeks after exposure. The most identifiable symptom is puffy cheeks and swollen salivary glands. It usually takes two weeks to recover.

Transmission can be prevented by washing hands, avoiding sharing objects that might have saliva on them such as water bottles or cups and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs or counters, the DOH said.

In a communal area with shared objects mumps can spread fast. The University of Florida dealt with about two dozen cases of mumps last month. Five to 10 inmates at a Harris County, Texas jail were quarantined after possible cases of mumps were reported earlier this week.

Dr. Brian Cooper is an infectious disease physician at Orange Park Medical Center. Cooper said the disease was extremely contagious and the best way to keep mumps cases low was vaccination. Receiving both vaccines provides 85-90-percent efficiency, he said.

Fatal cases are rare, but infertility or an inflamed pancreas are possible side effects.

“You get pretty good protection, but it’s not 100 percent protection,” Cooper said. “Mumps tends to be milder in vaccinated people.”

The U.S. only has about 800-1,000 reported cases of mumps a year, a “far cry” from the 180,000 cases a year in the pre-vaccinated days, which Copper said was probably under-reported.

“Recent outbreaks have been in communities with a lot of unvaccinated people, either for religious or other reasons,” Cooper said. “The way to keep the disease mild or infrequent is to keep doing high levels of vaccinations. It's the only real way to prevent it.”


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