Health officials to try to stop spread of mumps in northeast Nebraska

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A mumps immunization clinic will be held in Hartington, Nebraska next week.

FILE – This May 15, 2019 file photo shows a vial of a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at a clinic in Vashon Island, Wash. The World Health Organization says there has been a “dramatic resurgence” of measles in Europe, with nearly 90,000 people sickened by the virus in the first half of 2019. In a new report issued Thursday, Aug. 29 the U.N. health agency said the number of measles cases from January to June this year is double the number reported for the same period in 2018. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)

WAYNE, Neb. (KCAU) – Cases of mumps are still occurring at a steady rate in northeast Nebraska, so a local health department is trying to stop the spread by holding an immunization clinic.

The Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department, which covers Cedar, Dixon, Wayne, and Thurston Counties in Nebraska, will be holding an immunization clinic next week in Hartington, Nebraska after having seen 35 cases since the initial outbreak in August.

Julie Rother, the health director of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department, said the clinic will be held in Hartington, Nebraska on October 3 from noon to 7 p.m. They will offer an MMMR vaccine booster to a targeted population. The target population is for those born from 1957 to 2000 and live, work, or often visit the town.

Rother also said that there will be a limited number of vaccines, so they will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. If demand is high at the clinic, the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department will offer other options.

Even if people have already had the two recommended vaccines a third dose is recommended. Those who had received an MMR vaccine in the last six months won’t need the booster.

Rother told KCAU 9 that a majority of cases their jurisdiction are either in or connected to Hartington. The average age of those affected is 39.

The Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department is continuing to monitor the cases and review data and make necessary adjustments.

In late August, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said 30 cases were confirmed in northeast and southeast Nebraska and warned people of the contagious illness.

Since that warning, a case of mumps was found at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and at Pender Public Schools.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention list the following symptoms for mumps:

  • Swollen salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (also called parotitis)
  • Ear ache
  • Jaw pain
  • Testicular pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches

People with mumps are most contagious three days before and five days after their symptoms begin.

To protect yourself against mumps, health officials recommend the following:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Do not share drinking glasses, eating utensils, water bottles, or other things that have saliva on them
  • Always cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Stay home when you’re sick
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces

The Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department asks people to report any known cases to them at 402-375-2200.

Additional information on mumps is can be found by clicking here or here.

Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department is working with Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and several local partners to offer this clinic to help prevent the spread of the disease.

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