AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed a case of mumps at York High School.
According to Maine CDC officials, the individual got sick on March 9 and lab testing on March 15 confirmed mumps. The individual was reportedly unvaccinated and got mumps while traveling outside of the country.
Other people may have been exposed to the virus, since the individual was not isolated at the beginning of their illness. Anyone at York High School from March 6 to March 8, or at the unified basketball game at Massabesic High School gym on March 7, could be at risk of exposure to the illness.
Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease. Symptoms include fever, headache, and swelling of the salivary glands. Other signs are fatigue, muscle aches, and loss of appetite.
Mumps is spread through saliva or mucus and objects or surfaces touched by someone who is infected. Mumps does not linger in the air, so those who share personal items with or who are within three feet of an infected person are at the highest risk of being infected.
After someone is exposed to mumps, symptoms tend to appear 16-18 days after infection. There is no specific treatment for mumps, and anyone with symptoms should contact his or her healthcare provider.
Mumps can cause a number of issues, including redness and swelling of the testicles in males, inflammation of the brain or membrane covering the spinal cord, inflammation of the ovaries in females, loss of pregnancy, and permanent hearing loss.
The Maine CDC is working to notify potential people at risk in this case and has provided recommendations for York High School. The general public, including people who live in the same community as the infected individual, have a low risk of getting mumps from this case.
According to the Maine CDC, vaccinations can help prevent this virus. While people who are vaccinated can still get mumps, they are about nine times less likely to contract the disease as unvaccinated people with the same exposure to the virus.
This is the first case of mumps in Maine in 2019.