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New cases of mumps reported in Lexington

Mumps has recently been identified as the cause of illness in two Fayette County residents. These are the first laboratory-confirmed cases of mumps in the community this year.

Mumps is a rare but contagious disease spread through coughing and sneezing. Mumps usually causes the following symptoms for about 7-10 days: swollen glands in the cheek and jaw area, fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. If you or someone in your family has these symptoms, please contact your medical provider and stay home from work/school and other people for five days after the start of the symptoms.

The best way to protect against mumps is to get the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination, also called the MMR shot. Doctors recommend that all children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, one at ages 12-15 months, the next at 4-6 years. Check with your doctor’s office about the MMR vaccine. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department has some MMR vaccine available for those who qualify through the Vaccines for Children Program. Please call the Public Health Clinic at 859-288-2483 to find out if you qualify.

Proper hygiene can also help prevent the spread of mumps. Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

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