Number of Keystone Resort employees with mumps jumps to 19, health officials say

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SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The number of Keystone Resort employees with the mumps has jumped to 19, Summit County health officials said Tuesday.

According to Summit County Public Health, the number of cases is expected to change as the investigation continues.

“Because the general public is well immunized and the risk of catching mumps is greatest among close contacts of those with mumps, the risk to the general population remains low at this time,” said Sara Lopez, nursing manager for Summit County Public Health, through a written statement.

The first cases were reported earlier this month.

Health officials said they are working with the resort to identify possible cases and provide guidance about how to slow the spread of the disease.

“Immunization with the MMR vaccine is an important prevention strategy, especially when mumps is circulating among populations of individuals who live and work closely together. On Feb. 13, Summit County Public Health hosted an MMR vaccine clinic at Keystone Resort for close contacts of existing cases and individuals working at specific locations identified as being at high risk of exposure. The health department has also been providing technical guidance and support to Vail Resorts to implement additional MMR vaccination services for other at-risk employee populations,” Summit County Public Health said in a statement.

Mumps is a viral infection that causes painful swelling in the cheek and jaw glands. Other symptoms may include a low-grade fever, fatigue, lack of appetite and headache. Rare symptoms include swollen testicles, meningitis (spinal fluid infection), encephalitis (brain infection) and hearing loss.

About 1/3 of people with the mumps do not show symptoms, county health officials said.

The disease is spread by saliva or by respiratory droplets from the mouth, nose or throat.

“People with mumps can spread the illness to others from two days before symptoms start and for five days after. Most people with mumps get better within two weeks with bed rest, fluids and medications to reduce pain and/or fever,” county health officials said.

Mumps is prevented by the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. However, it cannot stop the disease once a person is exposed.

“Two doses of the MMR vaccine are recommended for children, with the first dose at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4-6 years of age. Mumps vaccine immunity can decrease over time, so some people who have been vaccinated can get mumps. The vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women. Adults born before 1957 are generally considered to be immune to mumps and do not need to be vaccinated, but other adults should make sure they have been vaccinated,” county health officials said.

Anyone with mumps symptoms should contact their health care provider or Summit County Public Health: 970-668-9161.

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