State health department: Inoculate against mumps
The California Public Health Department issued a reminder for residents to get their mumps shots following an outbreak in the Midwest of the untreatable but usually non-lethal disease.
College students, summer camp staff and campers, overseas travelers and health care workers should make sure they have received two doses of mumps vaccine because they are most at risk.
Early detection can prevent the spread of the disease.
As of June 6, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 4,400 cases of mumps in the Midwest so far this year, many in college students. Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Missouri and South Dakota have all been affected.
There have been four mumps cases in California in 2006, which is average.
There have been no cases in El Dorado County this year.
Children should get their first dose of MMR vaccine after their first birthday. A second dose may be given at least four weeks later, but is often given before the child enters kindergarten. Most California school children born after 1987 have already received two doses of MMR vaccine so they will not need additional doses.
The most common symptoms of mumps are fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, which also may be accompanied by swollen salivary glands above the angle of the jaw or beneath the jaw. Anyone who develops these symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately and stay home from school or work to prevent further spread of disease.
Although mumps rarely results in death, complications can be severe, including male infertility, miscarriages and hearing loss.
For more information about immunization requirements and vaccine-preventable diseases, contact your physician or go to http://www.GetImmunizedCa.org.
The El Dorado County Public Health Department provides low-cost or free immunizations for children without health insurance. To make an appointment, call (530) 573-3155.