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State health officials investigate probable case of mumps on Hawaii island

The Hawaii State Department of Health is investigating a probable case of mumps in South Kona on Hawaii island in a person with no history of travel or exposure to visitors.

The individual was not vaccinated against mumps, according to health officials, and there is suspected secondary transmission to an unvaccinated household contact.

“While this case is still under active investigation, at this time we have not identified a confirmed linkage to a school setting,” said DOH in a news release. “To prevent further spread of mumps in our communities, please get vaccinated, remain vigilant for signs of mumps infection, and seek medical attention if experiencing symptoms.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus that typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite.

Most people will develop swelling of their salivary glands, which causes puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.

Some people who get mumps have very mild, cold-like symptoms or no symptoms at all, and may not know they have the disease. In rare cases, mumps can cause more severe complications, but most people with mumps recover completely within two weeks.

Mumps spreads through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets from the mouth, nose, or throat, according to CDC. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, talking, or sharing items that may have saliva on them.

Contact DOH’s Disease Outbreak and Control Division Disease Reporting Line at 808-586-4586 or online at health.hawaii.gov/docd/contact-us to report possible cases.

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