News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda – The Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit are investigating one confirmed case and one suspect case of mumps. Mumps is a vaccine-preventable disease that is caused by the mumps virus.
Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swelling of salivary glands (located in the area between the neck and jaw, below the ears) on one or both sides. Symptoms may appear from 12–25 days after you are infected.
Most people with mumps recover fully. However, mumps can cause complications in some people, especially in adults. Complications can include:
- painful swelling of the testicles in males.
- painful swelling of the ovaries or breast tissue in females.
- inflammation in the pancreas.
- swelling in the brain and spinal cord.
Anyone who is not protected due to either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps. Mumps is spread easily by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared. In addition, the virus may spread when someone with mumps touches items or surfaces without washing their hands and someone else touches the same surface then touches their mouth or nose.
Precautions must be taken to prevent spread of the illness to others. Close contacts of the person and physicians are being contacted and advised.
The public is being asked to:
· Be alert to symptoms of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swelling of salivary glands. The symptoms may occur in children and adults.
· If you notice such symptoms, please exclude your child from school or camp and yourself from work. Persons with mumps must be isolated to prevent spread.
· Call your doctor or the emergency room prior to seeking medical attention. This is to reduce the possibility of spread to others while waiting to be seen by the doctor.
· Check your child’s and your own immunization record to see if you have had the mumps or MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine. The MMR vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps. The first dose of the MMR vaccine is routinely given when children are 15 months old, and a second dose is given when they are 4 years old. Teenagers and adults should have received two doses of MMR.
· If you or your child have not been vaccinated against mumps (MMR vaccine) contact your physician or visit the School or Child Health Clinics located at the Hamilton Health Centre, 67 Victoria Street, Hamilton, to have yourselves immunized as soon as possible.
· Wash your hands, cover your cough and sneezes, and clean frequently touched surfaces to help to prevent spread of the mumps virus.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit at 278-6503.