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Mumps & Flu Update: Vaccinations Are Best Protection

The Department of Health is notifying schools throughout the state of an outbreak of mumps. Most of the cases are in King County, mainly in the Auburn area, but there are also cases in Pierce, Spokane, and Yakima counties. Since mumps is highly contagious, the following information is provided to help prevent the spread of this disease. While there are no known cases in Snoqualmie Valley schools currently, please review the following to learn how to help keep your family healthy.
About Mumps: Mumps is a contagious disease caused by the mumps virus. It is mostly spread by contact with saliva from someone who is infected, similar to flu. 
  • The most distinctive sign of mumps is swelling of salivary glands in one or both cheeks that starts in front of the ear and can spread down to the neck or jaw (parotitis), though not everyone who is infected gets this. Mumps symptoms can also include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Potential serious complications of mumps can lead to hearing loss or brain damage.
  • Those infected with mumps are usually contagious for 2 days before symptoms appear and for 5 days after, so those who are infected can spread it without realizing it. Symptoms generally last about a week.
What can you do to prevent the spread of mumps?
  • Make sure you and your family members get the MMR vaccine.
  • If you don’t think you ever had the MMR vaccine, contact your healthcare provider for immunizations or a blood test as soon as possible. (If you don’t have a healthcare provider, call your local health department or the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.)  
  • If you or your child has been exposed to mumps, please contact your healthcare provider for advice.
  • If you or your child becomes ill after a possible exposure to mumps: 
    • Stay away from other people and public places to avoid exposing others. 
    • Contact your healthcare provider and ask to be evaluated for mumps.
    • And, please notify your school nurse.
About Flu: This time of year is also known to be “flu season.” Protect your family from the Influenza (Flu) virus, by getting the flu vaccination. Common sense prevention measures can also help prevent the spread of this contagious, respiratory disease. Encourage children to wash their hands often with soap and water, to cough or sneeze into the inside of their elbows, and to stay home when they are ill. Below are some additional resources that may be helpful: