Two cases of mumps in Ferry County
This update is about the mumps outbreak currently happening in Washington State.
As of Feb. 1, there are 349 cases in Washington State, including 123 cases in Spokane County.
The Northeast Tri-County Health District, which covers Ferry, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties, has been working to continue monitoring for mumps cases. As of Feb. 1, there are two cases of mumps identified in Ferry County. There are additional patients for whom laboratory testing is in process.
Medical providers across the three-county district have been instructed to be on alert for additional possible mumps cases. All area school districts have been advised to pre-identify students and staff who may be susceptible to the mumps due to a lack of appropriate immunizations to be prepared if a mumps case is diagnosed within their district.
Out of school
If a mumps case is identified in a district, the students who are not immunized will be excluded from school for 25 days from the identification of a mumps case, explained Health Officer, Dr. Sam Artzis.
As additional cases are identified, the exclusion days will be extended as necessary, Dr. Artzis added.
A chicken pox case has been diagnosed within the Newport School District in Pend Oreille County. Over 20 students are being excluded from school attendance due to their lack of immunization against the chickenpox, health district officials said.
“These students will be excluded from school for a period of 21 days unless they receive a varicella (chickenpox) immunization or proof from a medical provider that they have had chickenpox,” Dr. Artzis said. “If new cases are identified, the exclusion time will be extended. The exclusion dates for different diseases vary because of the difference in the incubation time (the time from exposure until you get sick).”
Mumps is no longer very common in the United States. From year to year, mumps cases can range from roughly a couple hundred to a couple thousand.
For example, in 2010, there were 2,612 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and in 2012, there were 229.
Before the U.S. mumps vaccination program started in 1967, about 186,000 cases were reported each year, but the actual number of cases was likely much higher due to underreporting. Since the pre-vaccine era, there has been a more than 99% decrease in mumps cases in the U.S. Before there was a vaccine, mumps was a common childhood disease in the U.S. In some cases, the disease caused complications, such as permanent deafness in children and, occasionally, swelling of the brain (encephalitis), which in rare cases resulted in death
MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine prevents most, but not all, cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. The MMR is 88 percent effective for people who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, Tri-County Health District officials said.
Those with two MMRs are about nine times less likely to get mumps than unvaccinated people who have the same exposure to mumps virus.
However, some people who receive two doses of MMR can still get mumps, especially if they have prolonged, close contact with someone who has the disease. If a vaccinated person does get mumps, they will likely have less severe illness than an unvaccinated person.
Please discuss vaccination status with your health care provider to determine if you should receive MMR vaccine along with other vaccines recommended for your age group.
For more information, check the following websites:
Northeast Tri County Health Offices:
Colville (509) 684-5048
Newport (509) 447-3131
Republic (509) 775-3111