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Mumps outbreak pushes Colorado past infection record

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Posted at 2:17 PM, Mar 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 16:22:40-05

DENVER – The number of mumps cases in Colorado continues to grow and has surpassed the state record amid an outbreak that has spread through several states.

Health officials on Friday said they’d registered a total of 53 cases of mumps in the state since Jan. 1, 2017. The old record was 51 cases following an outbreak in 2006.

Colorado averages just 5.6 cases a year. Last year, there were 17 cases.

Mumps is an infection spread by direct human-to-human contact through respiratory droplets or saliva. Average incubation periods range from 16 to 18 days on average, but up to 12 to 25 days.

Symptoms of the infection aren't limited to swelling of salivary and parotid glands across the cheek and jaw area; swelling can range from the frontal part of the ear and spread as fluid builds up. Other symptoms can at times include low-grade fevers, malaise, loss of appetite, headache and more, but not all who have mumps will exhibit symptoms.

Severe complications from the infection are rare, but can include sterility, spontaneous abortion, deafness and more.

Officials advise ensuring family members are up to date on the MMR vaccine, noting two doses of the vaccine are recommended for children.

Even those who are vaccinated are susceptible to mumps, as the vaccine is only roughly 88 percent effective, and effectiveness can wane after the vaccine has been administered.

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