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Health officials: More than 50 cases of mumps confirmed in northwest Oklahoma

ENID, Okla. – Oklahoma health officials are investigating an outbreak of mumps after more than 50 cases were confirmed in the state.

Officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health said there are 56 cases of mumps confirmed in the state, with 54 in Garfield County and two in Kay County.

So far, there have been no hospitalizations related to the cases.

Earlier this year, health officials said most of the confirmed cases dealt with middle and high school students.

However, health officials recently confirmed those affected range in age from less than 1-year-old to 51-years-old.

According to Enid News, most of the people affected by the recent mumps outbreak in Oklahoma received their measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations.

Mumps is a virus that is spread by coughing, sneezing and direct contact with saliva, like eating or drinking after an infected person.

Symptoms include swelling on one or both sides of the face, tenderness of the salivary glands in the cheek and jaw area, slight fever, headache, general aches and muscle pain.

Those symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after the infection, and individuals can begin spreading the virus two days before showing symptoms.

Experts say patients will usually recover on their own, but some cases can lead to serious complications.

“If parents observe symptoms of mumps in their child, we are strongly requesting that the child be kept at home for the five days after those symptoms are discovered,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. “This is the most effective way to prevent the disease from spreading.”

Two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine required for school attendance are 88 percent effective in preventing mumps. The MMR vaccine is recommended on or after a child’s first birthday with a second dose at four to six years of age.

People who are born during or after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against mumps should get at least one dose of the MMR vaccine.

Children that need to receive the MMR vaccine may get it from their healthcare provider or their local county health department.