The Iowa Department of Public Health is investigating an outbreak of mumps in northwest Iowa linked to a private college. State medical director, Patti Quinlisk, says the outbreak is in Sioux County. She says there are eight confirmed cases and other people being tested. All the cases are young adults who are associated with Dordt College in Sioux Center.
Quinlisk says they’re trying to locate everyone who may’ve come into contact with those who’ve already been confirmed to have the disease. Quinlisk says they are concerned because all the cases are happening at the same time, which indicates one or more people exposed the others to mumps. She says they don’t want to see the cases become widespread like the outbreak a couple of years ago. They’s now working with everyone to stop the disease from spreading.
Quinlisk says everyone needs to be sure their vaccinations are up to date, especially people in northwest Iowa. She says you need at least two doses of the M.M.R. (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, with the only exception people who were born before 1957 and had mumps as children.
Quinlisk says the symptoms of mumps usually start out with a fever, you can get a headache, aches and pains and loss of appetite. Quinlisk says the symptom people most often think about is a swelling of the glands in front of the ear or below the jaw. She says other glands can also swell too, and you should think they symptoms are mumps until your doctor tells you otherwise. Quinklisk says mumps used to be a major health concern.
Quinlisk says prior to the use of the vaccines, mumps was a major cause of deafness, it caused sterility in men and could in some cases cause death. Quinlisk says the disease is often brought in from outside the country, although there are cases in Iowa and Nebraska has had some recent cases.
For more information about mumps the health department’s website:
The health department has identified these locations where exposure to mumps may’e occurred in northwest Iowa:
April 12 through May 5, 2010 – Dordt College (Sioux Center)
April 22, 2010 – Spirit Lake vs. Hull-Western Christian soccer game (Hull)
April 23, 2010 – Hull-Western Christian Prom
April 24, 2010 – Student dance at Dugout/Events Center (Granville)
April 25, 2010 – Covenant Christian Reformed Church worship service (Sioux Center)
April 25, 2010 – Emmanuel Christian Reformed Church worship service (Sheldon)
April 26, 2010 – Hull-Western Christian School
April 27, 2010 – Sweet 16 Lanes (Le Mars) – evening hours
April 27, 2010 – Sibley Ocheyden School
April 29, 2010 – Tofer’s Bar (Sioux Center) – evening hours
April 29, 2010 – Root beer kegger at South View Apartments (Sioux Center)
May 2, 2010 – Emmanuel Christian Reformed Church worship services (Sheldon)
May 3, 2010 – Hull-Western Christian vs. Spencer soccer game (Spencer)