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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:

  • Swollen, painful salivary glands on one or both sides of your face (parotitis)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain while chewing or swallowing

There are several things you can do to help prevent the spread of the virus:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with warm soapy water.
  • If ill, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading the disease to others.
  • Don’t share drinks or eating utensils.
  • Regularly clean surfaces that are frequently touched (such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters) with soap and water or with cleaning wipes.
  • If ill, stay home and avoid close contact with other people, especially babies and people with weakened immune systems who cannot be vaccinated.
  • Check your vaccine records and be sure that you are up-to-date on your vaccines. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions about vaccination.

If you suspect that you or a family member has mumps, please contact your health care provider.


Last Updated: 08-06-2013

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