Some Kansas counties are experiencing local outbreaks of mumps, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
There are 56 reported cases across 12 counties: Atchison, Barton, Crawford, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Franklin, Johnson, Marshall, Riley, Rooks and Thomas.
Mumps is caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. Mumps can occasionally cause complications, including inflammation of the testicles or ovaries, meningitis or encephalitis. Most people with mumps recover in a few weeks.
If you think you have mumps, you should isolate yourself and contact a health care provider.
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“As we continue to see mumps cases throughout the state and region, I encourage Kansans to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease,” said Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Susan Mosier in a news release.
“Please make sure that you and your family are up to date on vaccines, and stay home if you do get mumps.”
The median age of those currently infected in Kansas is 20 years old.
Of the 56 total cases, most patients had a history of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations. But the mumps vaccine is less effective than the other two, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The mumps vaccine is about 88 percent effective when a person gets two doses. One dose is about 78 percent effective, according to the CDC.
The CDC recommends that children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose around their first birthday, and the second dose when the child is between 4 and 6 years old.
More than 5,300 mumps cases were reported in the U.S. in 2016, according to the CDC.
Mumps outbreaks are ongoing in parts of Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
There are 149 cases of mumps across Missouri, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Southeast Missouri State University is reporting 29 confirmed cases of mumps, and officials say the number is expected to grow.
At the University of Missouri, the number of cases peaked in November and December. Since the beginning of fall semester, there have been 360 cases of mumps at the school, said spokesman Christian Basi.
As of this week, more than 4,012 MU students have received a third MMR vaccine since the outbreak started.
“At this point, we likely only have a few students who have active cases,” Basi said.
Kelsey Ryan: 816-234-4852, @kelsey_ryan
Number of cases
Information: Kansas Department of Health and Environment