Mumps outbreak identified in Grant County

MOSES LAKE — The Grant County Health District has identified five mumps cases in students at Columbia Basin Job Corps, and is investigating an additional nine patients with mumps-like symptoms.

Investigation of infectious diseases is one of the essential services provided by the GCHD. Public health nurses will continue to identify and investigate any additional cases of mumps.

The GCHD and Washington State Department of Health (DOH) worked collaboratively to facilitate diagnoses and laboratory testing. The healthcare community and pharmacies have been alerted to stock mumps testing supplies and check their inventory for MMR vaccine for children and adults.

Grant County schools and college have been notified and are encouraged to review their staff and student immunization records and communicate the need for vaccinations to those who are not up to date. If there are mumps cases identified in the schools, there will be exclusion orders for those without proof of immunity. “Employers are also encouraged to check their staffs’ vaccination records,” Community Public Health Manager Kathleen Nelson said.

The GCHD suggests you avoid kissing, hugging, sharing food or cigarettes and other close contact with anyone who is suspected of having mumps. If you have been exposed to mumps and feel ill, stay home to help prevent the spread of the disease and contact your healthcare provider.

If you don’t have a healthcare provider, call the GCHD (509-766-7960) or the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.

Mumps is a disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and a loss of appetite. However, mumps is best known for the facial and jaw swelling.

Mumps usually goes away on its own in about 10 days, but in some cases it can cause complications.

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