Mumps and Flu Cases Continue in Snohomish County
Recent death of Everett teen linked to flu-related complications
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – While the first day of summer is just around the corner, cases of influenza and mumps are continuing to pop up around the county. New lab results also confirmed that a male teenager from Everett died from influenza B on May 25, bringing the total number of flu deaths in Snohomish County to 45.
“The height of the flu season does usually taper off in March or April, but it’s not unusual to see cases into the summer,” said Nancy Furness, preventative services director for the Snohomish Health District. “This is an important reminder that we should always wash hands, cover coughs, and stay home when you’re sick.”
The number of mumps cases in Snohomish County is also growing. As of June 8, there have been 43 confirmed and 36 probable cases since the statewide outbreak started last fall. Of those 79 total cases, 53 have impacted students and staff in schools throughout the county.
The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best protection against mumps and is highly effective in preventing the virus and reducing outbreaks. Out of an abundance of caution, the Health District has recommended excluding students without the MMR from attending school until the 26th day past possible exposure.
What is mumps?
Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness. An infected person can spread it through face-to-face contact by coughing, sneezing, or spraying saliva while talking. Mumps can also spread when people share cups and eating utensils. Mumps is a condition that health providers must report to the local health department when a probable or diagnosed case occurs.
What are the symptoms?
- Mumps causes puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw, the result of swollen salivary glands. Other symptoms are:
- Up to 10% of teen boys and men can experience swelling of the testicles. Meningitis and encephalitis are rare but serious complications of mumps.
How can you prevent mumps?
- Immunization is the most effective way to prevent mumps. Everyone should make sure they are up to date on their MMR vaccine. Children must have two doses of the MMR vaccine to attend school. Other ways to protect yourself:
- Avoid contact with anyone infected with mumps.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Don’t share cups and eating utensils.
Who is more likely to get mumps?
- Babies less than one year old.
- Children older than one who have not received at least one dose of the MMR.
The Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Visit www.snohd.org/flu or www.snohd.org/mumps for more symptoms, health information and other resources.
- Adults born in or after 1957 who have not been vaccinated or have not had mumps before.