3 mumps cases confirmed in Milwaukee

Posted at 10:22 AM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 19:33:55-04

MILWAUKEE -- Three cases of mumps have been confirmed in Milwaukee, according to the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD).
That number includes one Marquette University student in off-campus housing. 

With graduation at Marquette this weekend, most students have already gone home.  Those that are left got an email alert from the university, saying be cautious if you come down with a fever, swollen neck and jaw.

The other two cases are also young adults and the health department says all three are linked.

"We're saying they're not all Marquette students, and right now they could be epi-linked outside of Marquette through social relationships. They could be also relationships through parties, roommates, boyfriends or girlfriends, extracurricular activities or classes," said Dr. Paul Biedrzycki, City of Milwaukee Health Department.

Dr. Paul Biedrzycki says symptoms include fever, headache, cough, fatigue and puffy cheeks. Mumps are contagious two days before symptoms appear and for five days after they disappear.

So if these young adults have had the recommended two doses of the MMR vaccine, why did they get the mumps? The answer - the vaccine's only 88 percent effective.

Mumps is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the mumps virus. It is spread through the air by droplets and contact with saliva or mucus from infected persons. 

While most people recover fully, officials said the infection can occasionally cause serious complications in adults.

The department said mumps can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing as well as sharing food or beverage items and utensils with infected individuals.

"Vaccination with two doses of Mumps-Measles-Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps infection," MHD said in a statement. "Public health officials advise individuals to be aware of their vaccination status, and seek advice from a health care provider if your vaccinations are not up to date."