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Maricopa County experiencing mumps outbreak for first time in decades

(CDC Photo)

PHOENIX — A county medical official says Arizona’s most populated county is dealing with a mumps outbreak for the first time in decades.

Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for disease control at Maricopa County Department of Public Health, told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the county has identified 12 cases since August and that they aren’t contained within a single area.

Sunenshine said adults and children have been affected, and that those who aren’t vaccinated should do so immediately because there are likely more cases that haven’t been diagnosed.

Typically, there are about five cases of the mumps in Maricopa County per year, according to Sunenshine.

“This is why it’s so important that everyone gets vaccinated so that they can protect themselves,” Sunenshine said.

Sunenshine recommends two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine to best prevent against the disease.

Mumps symptoms include face swelling, tender salivary glands under the ears or jaw, fever, headache, muscle ache, tiredness and loss of appetite.

Someone with mumps is typically contagious a day or two before symptoms set in, so it can easily be spread.

Sunenshine said to contact your health provider if symptoms match those of mumps, especially since the disease is typically uncommon.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore contributed to this report.

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