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Mumps Outbreak in Arkansas- Too Close to Home

December 6, 2016

 September 7, 2016 an official Oklahoma Health Alert was put out by the Network Health Advisory regarding an outbreak of mumps in Springdale, Arkansas - 40% are school children. So in the spirit of Back-to-School, here’s the DL on this creepy virus to help you and your child come out of this school year mumps free.

 

What Are the Mumps Again?

Mumps were more talked about pre ‘67 when a vaccine (MMR) was introduced, causing the virus to drop by 99 percent. It’s a viral disease caused by the mumps virus, hence the name. The mumps are highly contagious and while most people just ride it out with no side effects, it has been known to cause infections in the covering of the brain, deafness, and a few other uncommon but dangerous side effects.

 

How Do People Get the Mumps?

Unfortunately, it’s as easy as a cough or sneeze from an unwelcome guest and can enter through the mouth, nose, or eyes. Tell your kids not to eat after anyone or play “kiss chase” on the playground. They could very well pay for it later. You can also contract mumps by touching a germ infected surface, so make friends with sanitary wipes and hand gel.

 

Symptoms

In the beginning, they can feel fluish - fatigue, headache, fever, loss of appetite… Some experience swollen salivary glands, especially in the jaw area. This can also result in a not-so-fun earache.

 

What Should I do?

If you have the mumps, there’s not much to be done except isolate yourself and watch everything in your Netflix cue. I recommend lots of ice cream, but then again I’m not a doctor.

 

If you’re trying to prevent you and/or your child from contracting the virus, the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine is recommended. Depending on your age and if you’ve had the vaccine before, you might need to go back for a second dose in a couple of weeks. Try to gather all your shot records for you and your child before the doctor’s appointment. 

 

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