Number of mumps cases in Colorado on the rise |

Number of mumps cases in Colorado on the rise

by Trevor Reid

Greeley-Evans School District 6 officials warned parents Tuesday morning about an increase in mumps cases in Colorado.

Though there are no reported cases in District 6, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials asked the district to help spread awareness. As of Feb. 8, there have been 27 cases of mumps reported statewide, and officials expect that number to rise. In 2016, there only were 17 cases of mumps reported in Colorado.

Mumps is known for causing puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw due to swollen salivary glands. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. Symptoms usually appear about 16-18 days after infection. Most people who contract mumps completely recover in a few weeks.

Mumps spreads through saliva or mucus. An infected person can spread mumps by coughing, sneezing, talking or touching unwashed hands to objects or surfaces that are touched by others.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends people avoid contracting mumps by avoiding sharing drinks or eating utensils, washing hands often and disinfecting surfaces that are frequently touched.

Most important, the CDC recommends staying up-to-date on the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. The vaccine, given in two doses, is about 88 percent effective. Since the mumps vaccination, there has been a more than 99 percent decrease in mumps cases in the United States. If mumps is reported at a school, children who are not properly vaccinated could be excluded from school for 25 or more days, depending on how many people at the school have mumps.

Mumps Symptoms

Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes. This is a result of swollen salivary glands.

The most common symptoms include:

» Fever.

» Headache.

» Muscle aches.

» Tiredness.

» Loss of appetite.

» Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis).

Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection.

Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease.

Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases