Kansans urged to prevent spread of mumps
56 mumps cases reported across 12 Kansas counties
Marion County residents who have or may potentially encounter people from any of 12 Kansas counties that recently reported 56 cases of mumps should take precautions to prevent further spread of mumps.
As of Tuesday, county health department director Diedre Serene said there had been no mumps cases reported in the county.
Nevertheless, Atchison, Barton, Crawford, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Franklin, Johnson, Marshall, Riley, Rooks, and Thomas counties all had reported mumps cases according to a Kansas Department of Health and Environment press release March 4.
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus that typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands.
Mumps can occasionally cause complications including inflammation of the testicles or ovaries, meningitis, or encephalitis. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks.
Anybody with symptoms of mumps should isolate themselves and call their healthcare providers, according to KDHE.
Anybody who suspects they may have mumps should stay home from work, school and any social activities.
KDHE recommends families be up-to-date on vaccines.
People with mumps can spread the disease before the salivary glands begin to swell and up to five days after the swelling begins.
Mumps spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat. An infected person can spread the virus through the following: coughing, sneezing or talking; sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others; and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.
If county residents need to visit any of the counties that have reported mumps cases or have contact with people from people any of the listed counties, Serene recommended Marion County residents practice good personal hygiene as a precaution.
When coughing or sneezing, KDHE recommends people use and then throw away a tissue, but if no tissue is available, KDHE urges people to cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbows, not their hands.
Washing hands often with soap and water, avoiding sharing drinks or eating utensils, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces also are recommend.
More information about mumps is available at http://www.kdheks.gov/.