Multiple cases of mumps have been reported to the Virginia Department of Health. As of May 28, 2013, 110 cases of mumps are under investigation in different regions of the state. The majority of cases are part of an outbreak of mumps occurring at one university in the central region of the state. As investigations continue, additional cases are possible. It is also possible that the cases under investigation will decrease as investigations are completed and cases are ruled out.
Mumps is a viral infection that causes swelling in the salivary glands (parotitis), which are situated below and in front of your ears. This disease is contagious and is spread through close contact, such as when a person with the illness coughs or sneezes.
Mumps can also be spread when items used by an infected person are contaminated with saliva and are shared, such as cups, utensils or lip balm. A person with mumps is contagious from 3 days before the start of parotitis through 5 days after the start of parotitis.
This period between exposure to mumps and the start of symptoms is known as the "incubation period." On average, the incubation period for mumps is 18 days, but ranges from as early as 12 days or as late as 25 days. When signs and symptoms do develop, they may include:
There are several things you can do to help prevent the spread of the virus:
If you suspect that you or a family member has mumps, please contact your health care provider.