Milwaukee Health Department confirms 7 cases of mumps

CREATED May 8, 2014 - UPDATED: May 9, 2014

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UPDATE: Additional cases of mumps have been confirmed in the city, according to the City of Milwaukee Health Department.

There are now seven confirmed cases. Three of the infected are associated with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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MILWAUKEE -- There are four confirmed cases of mumps in the city of Milwaukee, according to the Milwaukee Heath Department.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee confirms two of their students have mumps and one has a suspected case of mumps.

On Thursday, the school said they will be following up with people who were in close contact with those affected.  

UWM senior Donovan Wackman, who already got vaccinated, said he's not too worried about catching mumps.  

"If it gets worse, then I might be concerned,” he said. “But it's at the end of the semester, so hopefully it's done."  

The symptoms of mumps include swollen glands and flu-like symptoms including fever and fatigue, which can be soothed by getting plenty of bed rest and by taking some over-the-counter pain killers. However, experts warn some people show different signs.  

"Some people don't get the typical infection with the big swollen glands and so those people could be sharing germs without realizing they have a serious infection," said Dr. Renee Slade, a Rush University Pediatrician. "Getting the disease is only one airplane ride away."

Mumps can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing as well as sharing food or beverage items and utensils with infected individuals, according to the Milwaukee Heath Department.

"I’m washing my hands a lot more and at work and at class,"  Wackman said. "I'm wiping stuff down a lot more, but other than that, it's a pretty normal day today. I’m just a little more cautious."  

The MHD recommends that persons experiencing symptoms consistent with mumps to stay home for a minimum of five days.

There have also been confirmed cases of the mumps at UW-Madison and UW-Lacrosse. It's believed to have been caused by a traveler from overseas.

School officials urge that even if you were vaccinated as a child, it is important to get a second dose to prevent infection.

Students that need to get vaccinated can call the Norris Health Center to make an appointment for the shot at 414-229-4716. However, health experts don't expect to see too many students.  

"People who are undervaccinated or unvaccinated are particularly at risk, not only to themselves but to others in the community," explained Paul Biedrzycki of the City of Milwaukee Health Department.
 
"I think we can control it adequately by working with the university, student health centers, and the population impacted," he explained.

"In 2013, there were no mumps for example,” said Dr. Julie Bonner, the Executive Director of the Norris Health Center. “We did experience some cases in 2006 of mumps. But really, there's been a lot of awareness in the state. So I think a lot of people caught up back in 2006.”  

Additional information on mumps is available from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.