Mumps cases are on the rise in Little Rock, Arkansas
The U.S. began vaccinating against the mumps in the 1960s, when there were more than 180,000 reported cases each year and many more unreported cases. Since that time, outbreaks continue to decrease nationwide, and on average, the figures now range from the hundreds to a few thousand cases per year.
What are the mumps?
Mumps is a viral illness, which is highly contagious. A mumps infection may start with a fever, lethargy, muscle aches and swollen glands. You can be exposed to mumps and not show symptoms for 14 to 20 days.
College students are at high risk of contracting mumps since crowded environments such as dormitories and classrooms encourage outbreaks. Other ways to contract the illness include kissing and sharing things like drinks and lipstick.
Should I worry about the mumps?
Mumps can be difficult to prevent from spreading because some individuals show no signs or symptoms.
According to the CDC, Arkansas is one of seven states reporting more than 100 cases of the mumps last year. The Arkansas Health Department lists more than 2,400 mumps cases under investigation within the state.
Protect yourself and your family
The best way to protect yourself from getting the mumps is to receive the mumps, measles and rubella vaccination (MMR), which is a live vaccine.
Vaccines protect you and others from illness. Individuals who have vaccine exemptions should not attend school or other activities for at least 26 days from the date of exposure until the outbreak ends.
Children should receive the vaccine at 6 months old and again between 4 and 6 years of age. Some individuals may need a booster shot. It’s important to remember that adults need vaccines too.
If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t receive the MMR vaccine; however, you should get vaccinated after giving birth.
If you have the mumps
The mumps is a virus, which means there aren’t medications that specifically treat the illness. Some ways you can treat the various symptoms of the mumps include:
- Avoiding acidic foods.
- Consuming foods that make swallowing easy.
- Drinking fluids to stay hydrated.
- Utilizing over-the-counter medications to reduce fever.
If you believe you have the mumps and live in Arkansas or Louisiana, visit a Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center to receive a diagnosis and learn the next steps. If you aren’t vaccinated, now is the time to protect yourself from this illness. Visit a walk-in clinic for more information or the Arkansas Department of Health today.
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