McDONALD COUNTY, Mo.–Leaders in McDonald County are trying to get a mumps outbreak under control after more than a dozen cases.
“We’ve been going to neighborhoods, doing door-to-door vaccines,” explained Elsia Mustain with the McDonald County Health Department.
Mustain is talking about tackling mumps — a viral infection that spreads through coughing, sneezing and saliva exchange. There is no cure.
Thirteen cases have been confirmed in McDonald County since August and so far, the county has given more than 400 vaccinations.
“If the vaccine wasn’t effective, we would be seeing way more cases than we currently are,” Mustain added.
If your child is infected, it may take 12 to 15 days for symptoms to start.Symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands glands under the ears, as well as fever, headache and muscle aches.
Officials ask students to stay home for five days after symptoms begin.
“They need to understand that quarantine means quarantine,” Mustain explained. “They don’t need to be around other people for five days and that’s the main thing–is if you do go out into the community, you are exposing other people as well as yourself.”
The department urges students to not share drinks and wash hands regularly because the MMR vaccine is not the only prevention tactic to rely on.
“No vaccine is 100% effective, so there is still a percent chance that you will get the mumps and if you are in close contact, that increases your risk of actually developing the mumps.”