Mumps Outbreak – Be Aware

Washington State is experiencing a Mumps outbreak.

Here are some important facts about Mumps, some preventative measures, what to do if a family member gets Mumps and the counties that are hardest hit.

The following information is from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases:

What is Mumps?

Mumps is an acute viral disease that is spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing. Some people may have no symptoms or very mild symptoms but they can still pass the virus on to others.


The symptoms of mumps include a low grade fever and swelling or tenderness of one or more of the salivary glands in the cheeks and under the jaw. In males who have gone through puberty, up to 30 percent may experience testicular pain and swelling.

Symptoms usually appear between 12 and 25 days after a person has been exposed to the mumps virus. As many as 30 to 40 percent of infected people will not have symptoms and nearly 50 percent will have non-specific or mostly respiratory symptoms, with or without infection in the salivary glands.


There is a vaccine to protect against mumps. The vaccine is given as part of a combination vaccine, called the MMR vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. – See more at:

There were 756 confirmed cases as of April 14th, 2017 in 13 counties and while many of those counties are in the single digits, Spokane, King, Pierce, Grant, and Snohomish have experienced double and triple digit numbers. Spokane County alone has had 306 cases. King county has had 276 cases and have a significant number of these cases on college campuses where good personal hygiene is often not followed and there are lots of people together in small living quarters.

Here are some recommendations made by the State Department of Health:

What can you do to prevent the spread of mumps?

  • The best protection against mumps is the MMR vaccine (combination MMR and varicella), which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella viruses.
  • If you don’t think you ever had MMR vaccine, contact your healthcare provider for immunizations or a blood test as soon as possible.
  • If you don’t have a healthcare provider, call your local health department or the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.
  • If you think you have been exposed to mumps, contact your healthcare provider for advice.
  • If you become ill after a possible exposure to mumps:
    • Contact your healthcare provider and ask to be evaluated for possible mumps.
    • Protect other people – Stay away from other people to avoid exposing them to mumps.

Mumps can be a serious illness, especially for adults so it is important to pay attention if you think you may have been exposed. Here are some links to give you more information.