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Louisiana beginning to see cases of mumps: Health experts offer tips to avoid getting sick

News, Access Health Louisiana Primary Care, Belle Chasse, Kenner, Ruth U. Fertel / Tulane, South Broad, St. Bernard, St. Charles – Luling, St. Charles – Norco, St. Tammany – Covington, St. Tammany – Slidell, Tangipahoa, Washington, Woodworth

Louisiana Department of Health reports that cases of mumps are beginning to appear in Louisiana. As of Today there have been 20 cases* of mumps reported by the LDH Office of Public Health.

*Note: because this number might change on a daily basis or more often, LDH will publish updates.

“There has been a large outbreak of mumps cases in Arkansas and we’re starting to see cases in Louisiana now,” said Dr. Frank Welch, medical director of the state Immunization Program, Louisiana Department of Health.

The first cluster of cases has been identified at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The university is taking extra precautions to prevent the spread among students and faculty. The Louisiana Department of Health has shared health alerts and education to remind health care providers, schools and universities about the signs and symptoms of mumps.

“Our Louisiana culture is rich with festivals and celebrations including many scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day this weekend. Large gatherings create an environment where germs and contagious illnesses spread easily,” said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, State Health Officer, LDH. “This is a great time to remind everyone to take proper precautions to avoid getting sick.”

The Louisiana Department of Health offers these reminders to avoid the spread of infection:

Symptoms of mumps include:

Dr. Welch added that a person who has the mumps virus may not know they are ill because it can take several weeks after the infection until the symptoms occur.

“The infectious period is the time period during which an infected person can spread the disease to others. People are most infectious from one or two days before onset of symptoms until five days after they notice inflammation of their salivary glands,” Welch added. “It is for this reason that we advise these safe sharing precautions, especially at a time when people gather in large groups.”

Visit www.ldh.la.gov/mumps for more information about mumps.

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. To learn more about LDH, visit www.ldh.la.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH’s Twitter account and Facebook.

http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/4188

 

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