The Boston Public Health Commission has confirmed that there are two definite cases and 10 probably cases of mumps in Boston.

Of the 12 total cases, 11 patients attend Northeastern University.

According to the Health Commission, mumps illness is caused by a virus that lives in a person’s nose, mouth, and throat. It can spread to others who are in close contact with a case through direct contact with infected saliva or through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The most common symptoms are a low fever, headache, muscle pain and swelling in the salivary glands (located at the cheek, below the ear and under the jaw). Symptoms can appear 12 to 25 days after contact with an infected person. Those ill with mumps are most contagious 3 days before until 5 days after symptoms begin. Mumps is usually a mild illness but can cause serious problems in some people.

The Boston Public Health Commission encourages persons who were born after 1956 who may have been in contact with a person who has mumps to contact their healthcare provider and have their immunization status evaluated.

Anyone with symptoms of mumps should seek medical attention right away.

For more information, call the Boston Public Health Commission at 617-534-5611.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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