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Organism, Causative Agent, or Etiologic Agent
Mumps virus is a Rubulavirus in the Paramyxovirus family.
Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared.
Mumps is an illness with acute onset of parotitis—swollen or tender salivary glands (usually in the space below where the jaw and ear meet). This swelling may be on one or both sides and will usually resolve in about a week. Many people may not have any symptoms at all. Other glands can swell or become tender, most notably adult males may have swollen or tender testicles. Complications or other presentations are rare and usually mild, but include deafness, pancreatitis, oopheritis (swollen ovaries), meningitis, and encephalitis.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. Wash hands well and often with soap and don’t share drinks or eating utensils. There is no treatment for mumps other than treating the symptoms. Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps. The mumps vaccine is part of the MMR (measles mumps rubella) vaccine and it is currently recommended for children to receive it at 1 and 4-6 years of age.
School Exclusion Policy
Children with suspected or confirmed mumps should be kept out of school or childcare for five days after the onset of swelling. Rules for exclusion of sick children from school and childcare are outlined in the Texas Administrative Code, specifically Rule 97.7 for schools and Rule 746.3603 for childcare.
Recent Texas Trends
Due to high vaccine rates in Texas, mumps incidence is traditionally very low. There was an outbreak of mumps in correctional facilities in 2010 and 121 cases were reported that year. Since then, case reports have decreased. In 2013, 13 cases of mumps were reported. Most cases occurred in adults with an unknown vaccination history.