It is normally the time of year for sickness to go around, but it is unusual to see the number of mumps cases that are in Washington State right now. The Public Health Seattle & King County has just announced 108 cases alone in there area according to news sources. They say that over 60% of people infected HAVE been vaccinated for mumps but still got sick. The CDC describes the mumps as:

"Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes. This is a result of swollen salivary glands.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis)

Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection."

If left untreated, the mumps can cause lots of different complications like:

  • inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty; rarely does this lead to fertility problems

  • inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)

  • inflammation of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)

  • inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breast tissue (mastitis)

  • deafness

The best action if you know you are sick is to see your doctor and stay home away from people and practice "good respiratory etiquette".