Northwest Colorado Health encourages mumps vaccination
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Outbreaks of mumps are being reported in Colorado and other states. Mumps is a contagious virus that causes painful swelling in the cheek and jaw area. The disease typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands.
If you are concerned you or your child may have mumps, contact your health care provider. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent mumps. Although the disease is rare in the U.S., it is still common in other parts of the world.
Outbreaks occur when travelers who have not been vaccinated against mumps get the disease and bring it to the U.S. where it spreads to others who are not protected. The Centers for Disease Control recommends children get two doses of MMR — or measles, mumps, rubella — vaccine, starting with the first dose at age 12 months to 15 months, and the second dose at age four to six. Colorado requires children have the MMR vaccine to enter childcare or school. Teens and adults should also be up to date on MMR vaccination.
It is especially important to have the vaccine if you plan to travel internationally. For more information, visit vaccines.gov. Northwest Colorado Health provides vaccines for all ages. If you would like to make an appointment or have questions about the vaccine and would like speak to a public health nurse, call 970-879-1632.
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