Mumps outbreak inches closer to Cuyahoga County after two suspected cases reported in Ashtabula

Test one returns negative results

JEFFERSON, Ohio - The Ashtabula Health Department reported today one of the two possible cases of mumps at Kingsville Elementary School has come back with negative results. 

Officials are now waiting for the results of the second test.

The department sent out a "Mumps Alert" letter to parents on May 2 explaining that their children may have been exposed to the disease. 

To read the full letter from the Ashtabula Health Department, go here .

Public health officials in Columbus say a mumps outbreak in central Ohio has reached 303 cases, about three-quarters of reported cases nationwide.

The running total of the cases of the contagious viral illness, which date to early January, was reported by Columbus health officials as of Thursday, with 182 of those linked to Ohio State University.

Mumps often starts with fever, fatigue and body aches. Those infected are urged to stay home, cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing, and frequently wash their hands.

Heath officials have advised college, school and even day care leaders to make sure central Ohio students are immunized and to separate them from those who haven't been vaccinated and those who are infected.

Dr. Elliot Davidson from Akron General Medical Center said mumps cause pain and swelling in the salivary glands. He said the disease is contagious and symptoms usually last a week or two, but it can also be quite serious.

"In some people, you can get a meningitis type of thing where it affects the brain, so it can be very serious in a small percentage," Dr. Davidson said.

He indicated vaccinations work 88 percent of time. Children are supposed to receive them at ages one and five. However, Dr. Davidson believes too many people are choosing not to get the shots either for themselves or their children.

"I put the blame right on Jenny McCarthy for spreading that type of thinking that vaccines are not necessary and that vaccines are dangerous. They're absolutely necessary. They're not dangerous."

With two new cases now in Northeast Ohio, Dr. Davidson said everyone should make sure their immunization records are up to date.

"If people don't know their immunization status, they should find their old records or call their doctor's office and check with their own doctor about whether they should be immunized."

People born before 1957 are likely to be immune to the disease.

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