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12 Mumps Cases Confirmed In Sangamon County

Updated:
The Director of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health says
they have seen one case of mumps every year for the last three years.

That's not the case this year, because over the last few week there has been a dozen confirmed cases.

Mumps is spread through the respiratory system. It's so contagious, even local hospitals are taking extra precautions.   

Doctors call it a rare illness, but cases of mumps have made a return to Sangamon County.

"The
12 cases we have are really unusual. For the last 3 years we have only
had one case per year," said Director of the Sangamon County Department
of Public Health, Jim Stone.

Those 12 cases have been confirmed
by the health department over the last 30 days. Symptoms of mumps
include fever, headache. muscle aches and tiredness. After that, cheeks
and salivary glands may swell.

A vaccine is available to prevent
mumps, but health officials are urging anyone who isn't vaccinated to
take steps now to prevent an outbreak.

"Basic, good hygienic
practices. Washing your hands before you touch your eyes, your nose, or
your mouth. Making sure you cough into the crook of your elbow and if
you're sick ,stay home," said Stone.

But local doctors say mumps is so contagious even the best hygiene practices may prove ineffective.

"Unfortunately
you can contract mumps just from a cough. Or someone who speaks, or
sings, or whistles or sneezes," said Dr. Donald Graham from the
Springfield Clinic.

Dr. Graham says if patients have mumps
symptoms to call ahead first. Emergency rooms and doctor offices must
take extra precautions before a patient with mumps walks in.

"People in the waiting room or people just walking by may actually been susceptible," said Dr. Graham.

Doctors
say the virus was common in the 70's, but since that time vaccines have
been doing their job. The most recent cases of mumps have come as a
surprise.

"In Illinois and throughout the country, mumps is a
very rare disease. This has to be considered a very unusual outbreak,"
said Dr. Graham.

If you have had mumps in the past doctors say
you are immune. If you are unsure you can take a blood test, but doctors
say the best measure is to receive at least two doses of the mumps
vaccine at least 28 days apart.

Officials at the Sangamon County
Department of Public Health say the confirmed cases of mumps are in
adults who knew one another.

It's still unknown why cases are up, but health officials say they are continuing to monitor the situation.12 Mumps Cases Confirmed In Sangamon County


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