As of Tuesday afternoon, there was one confirmed case of mumps and three probable causes in Bucks County.
The cases have all been linked to the outbreak of the once-nearly-eradicated illness that has made more than 100 people sick at Temple University in Philadelphia, Bucks County Health Director Dr. David Damsker said.
LevittownNow.com previously reported that a student at Pennsbury School District’s Pennwood Middle School is likely to have mumps, but it has not been laboratory confirmed. The student, sources said, has a relative who attends Temple University.
Damsker said privacy rules barred him from releasing more information on the other cases.
Parents in the Bristol Borough School District on Monday heard that a student may have come down with mumps, but Damsker said it has been confirmed as of Tuesday that the student does not have the illness.
“Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands. This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The illness that was once nearly eradicated in the United States can cause numerous complications, including inflammation of the testicles in males who have reached puberty, inflammation of the ovaries and/or breast tissue, inflammation in the pancreas (pancreatitis), inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), inflammation of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), and deafness. It has not been proven that inflammation of the testicles or inflammation of the ovaries caused by mumps has been shown to lead to infertility, but it can cause problems, the CDC notes in documentation.
Over the years, mumps has mainly been tamped out by the MMR vaccine. The vaccine is designed to prevent against mumps, measles, and rubella.
Damsker explained over the weekend that the MMR vaccine comes in two doses and a third might be wise for those concerned about coming down with mumps.