Health

Mumps Cases Reported at Three Local High Schools

Mumps culture

Three unrelated people at three different high school campuses in the county recently tested positive for mumps and may have exposed others to the contagious virus, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

The potential exposures to mumps occurred at the following locations at the specified dates during normal school hours:

  • High Tech High School International, Oct 21-22
  • La Jolla High School, Oct 21-23, 25 and 28
  • San Pasqual High School, Oct. 17-18 and 21-24

Students, teachers and staff who attended these schools on these dates are encouraged to be on the lookout for symptoms of mumps, which could begin to show as early as 12 days after exposure through 25 days after exposure.

“We are working closely with school officials to inform the school communities about the symptoms of mumps and vaccine recommendations,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Because there is no prevention after exposure for mumps, people should be watching for symptoms and make sure they have all the recommended doses of measles, mumps and rubella immunizations.”

Mumps Cases Increase

To date, a total of 47 mumps cases have been reported in San Diego County in 2019, the highest number in the past 25 years.

In the United States, the 2,701 mumps cases reported so far in 2019 are already greater than the 2,612 cases recorded in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Over 6,000 cases were reported nationally in 2016 and in 2017.

In California, 157 mumps cases have been reported this year, 52 more cases than at the same time in 2018. Furthermore, according to the Mexican Ministry of Health, Baja California is also experiencing an increased number of mumps cases. Through Oct.12, a total of 654 mumps cases had been reported in the Mexican state, 292 more than the 362 mumps cases reported in 2018.

What is Mumps?

Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease. It is spread by coughing, sneezing or close contact with an infected person. Mumps causes a fever, headache, earache, and inflammation of the salivary glands which results in swelling and tenderness at the angle of the jaw. Anyone who thinks that they have mumps should contact their provider before going for care so proper precautions can be taken to prevent exposure to others.

Severe complications are rare, but can include meningitis, decreased fertility, permanent hearing loss, and, in extreme cases, fetal loss during first trimester of pregnancy. There is no treatment for mumps. Most people recover without problems.

The best way to prevent mumps is by getting the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. Two doses of the vaccine are recommended—one at 12 to 15 months of age and another at 4 to 6 years of age.

For more information about mumps, other vaccine-preventable diseases, and the vaccines that protect against them, visit the CDC mumps website or contact the County HHSA Immunization Program at (866) 358-2966 or visit the website at www.sdiz.org.

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact