DENVER (CBS4) – A warning is out from Colorado health experts about a mumps outbreak. Dozens of cases have already been reported this year in the Denver metro area.
The Tri-County Health Department says the number of cases in Colorado (49) is way up from last year’s total (17), and across the nation there are more mumps cases than the country has seen in a decade.
“It’s definitely a concern that we’re seeing such a large uptick in mumps cases,” said Dr. Alice Liu from the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
Doctors are now getting more questions about mumps and how families should react if they think someone may have it.
The symptoms for mumps are similar to other illnesses at first. You could have a fever, body aches and feel tired. But after 48 hours your glands around the jaw start to swell.
“That’s really the most notable mumps finding that differentiates it from any other viral illness,” Liu said.
Doctors say if you think someone in your family has mumps, you should actually call for advice first instead of going to the doctor’s office or the emergency room. That’s to limit spreading mumps because it’s so contagious.
“Most people that get mumps generally do pretty well with it,” said Liu. “It’s what we call a self-limited illness. So with supportive care, pain control, lots of fluids, most people will get better without any intervention.”
Normally children get two doses of the MMR vaccine to protect against mumps, but now some doctors wonder if you should get a third dose later in life because of this recent outbreak.