Mumps cases confirmed in Skagit County

(SKAGIT COUNTY)- As of Feb. 14, 2017, Skagit County Public Health has confirmed three cases of mumps in Skagit County, including one student in the Mount Vernon School District.

Because mumps can be easily transmitted from person to person, Skagit County Public Health recommends that unimmunized people be excluded from schools to prevent further transmission among the school population. Students and staff may return to school immediately after they have received a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Regardless of your vaccination status against mumps, if you experience mumps symptoms (including fever, muscle aches, or swelling below the jaw), please contact your healthcare provider and inform them of your exposure to mumps. Stay home, and keep away from other people and public settings until you have been evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Mumps is an extremely contagious infection caused by a virus. The virus is found in saliva, and is spread through respiratory droplets (e.g. sneezing and coughing) when people are within three feet of each other. Mumps can also be spread through sharing items such as cups and eating utensils with others.

People who have not had the two required MMR vaccinations are nine times more likely to contract the illness than those who have received the vaccine.

Skagit County Public Health is working closely with local healthcare partners to monitor and respond to confirmed cases of mumps. The most effective weapon against mumps is vaccination.