MATTAWA, Wash. -- Health officials are sending out a warning after cases of the mumps have been found in Grant County.
According to the Grant County Health Department, there is one confirmed case of mumps, with three more probable cases.
The illnesses were identified in farmworker housing units in Mattawa.
Mumps is caused by a virus and typically starts with a few days of fever, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and a loss of appetite.
It's best known for causing swelling in the face and jaw.
Health officials in Grant County are advising families to check their children's, and their own, vaccination status to confirm they're up-to-date on the MMR vaccine.
It spreads similarly to a common cold.
Symptoms may appear 12-25 days after exposure, usually 16- 18 days after exposure. Mumps usually goes away on its own in about 10 days. But in some cases, it can cause complications that affect the brain, the testicles, the ovaries, or the pancreas.
How is mumps spread?
A person with mumps can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or spraying saliva while talking. It can also be spread by sharing cups or eating utensils, and by touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.
Who is at higher risk of getting mumps?
• Infants who are too young to receive MMR vaccine (under 1 year of age).
• Children over 1 year of age who are not fully vaccinated: Children should get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12-15 months of age, and the second dose at 4-6 years of age.
• Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.
• Adults born in or after 1957 who have not been vaccinated or have not previously had mumps disease.
• If you are unsure whether you or your child have been vaccinated, please contact your healthcare provider.
*Note: Persons born before 1957 probably had mumps as children and are usually considered immune, unless they work in healthcare. Healthcare workers should receive the vaccination.
How to prevent mumps
• Make sure you and your children are up to date on MMR vaccine. Your healthcare provider office has the vaccine in supply. Adults can also contact their local pharmacy to schedule an appointment. Most health insurance plans cover the cost of the vaccine.
• Stay away from anyone who has mumps.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water.
• Avoid sharing drinks or utensils used for eating.
• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters.
What to do if you have symptoms
• If you or your child has symptoms of mumps (fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen cheeks or jaw), call your healthcare provider immediately.
• Stay home and away from other people and from public settings until you or your child has been evaluated by a healthcare provider