Two recent outbreaks of mumps have led to a significant increase in cases of the illness, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said.
At least 30 cases have been identified, according to a press release from the organization. Most cases were reported from attendees of a wedding in northeast Nebraska and a workplace in the jurisdiction of Four Corners Health Department, which is west of Lincoln.
DHHS is working with the local health departments to investigate the reported cases.
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Mumps is a highly contagious illness that’s spread by coughing, sneezing and sharing saliva. In 2018, Nebraska had 12 reported cases, according to a press release from DHHS.
People with the illness are contagious three days before and five days after symptoms begin. Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are at an increased risk of complications from the virus.
Symptoms include swelling of glands in the face and neck, as well as earaches, jaw pain, testicular pain, fever, fatigue and muscle aches.
People with symptoms should avoid public activities and contact a doctor. Those who have had mumps are likely immune from the virus. Those who have been vaccinated are less likely to become infected, but it’s possible.
Tips to prevent mumps include:
- Get vaccinated.
- Don’t share drinking glasses, eating utensils, water bottles or other things with saliva on them.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- Wash your hands often.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces.
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