The Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) recently reported four confirmed cases of mumps infection in residents and college students.
The MHD is working with university health centers and other health providers to prevent further spread of the disease, and recommended that Milwaukee residents take precautionary measures.
Individuals who have experienced symptoms similar to mumps, including one or more swollen salivary glands, are advised to see a health professional and stay home from work or school for at least five days. The MHD asked residents to frequently wash their hands and cover their mouths and noses while coughing or sneezing.
Mumps is a contagious respiratory disease spread by airborne droplets. Those droplets can infect individuals after coming into contact with their saliva or mucus, usually through coughing, sneezing or sharing of utensils or beverages. Symptoms include headaches, bodyaches, fever and swelling of the salivary glands.
Most cases of mumps are relatively mild, but some can cause serious health problems for adults, including swelling of the testicles, ovaries and breasts. Inflammation of the brain and deafness can also occur.
The MHD recommended that Milwaukee residents check their vaccine status with a healthcare professional if they are unsure. Public health organizations recommend two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to prevent infection.