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Mumps case confirmed in Butler County

Local case is one of 11 confirmed in state not to be related to outbreak at Ohio State.

A case of the mumps virus has been confirmed in Butler County.

The case is unrelated to the ongoing mumps outbreak around The Ohio State University and Greater Columbus areas that has hit more than 110 people, said Robert Jennings, spokesman for Ohio Department of Health.

In the local case, a boy between the ages of 10 to 14 was confirmed to have mumps in January, according to ODH. The state didn’t release a location for the child.

Butler County is one of eight counties in Ohio that each have a single confirmed case of the virus unrelated to OSU. The other counties are Ashland, Coshocton, Lucas, Medina, Pike, Richland and Ross.

“Any case of the mumps is of public health concern,” said Dr. Mary DiOrio, state epidemiologist for ODH.

This is Butler County’s first confirmed case of mumps since 2011 when one case was reported, said Patricia Burg, Butler County health director.

Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat when the infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Symptoms include swollen glands near the face, body aches, fatigue and loss of appetite.

As of April 1, Columbus Public Health reported 116 cases of the mumps — nearly 95 of those on the OSU campus — in people between the ages 4 to 58. One of those reported cases is the relative of an OSU student that lives in Hamilton County.

This is Ohio’s first outbreak of the highly-contagious virus since 2010 when 27 cases were reported in the state, Jennings said.

“This is a significant public heath situation and we are concerned about it,” DiOrio said.

The outbreak of mumps at OSU began Feb. 10 and recorded its greatest spikes in March, with up to 10 cases a day, said Jose Rodriguez, spokesman for Columbus Public Health.

Rodriguez said a mumps outbreak becomes a public concern for two main reasons: it’s preventable through vaccination and can result in complications.

Complications from mumps can include meningitis, hearing loss and reproductive problems in men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Of the OSU cases, four cases of orchitis — inflammation of the testicles that can lead to infertility — and one case of deafness have been reported, Rodriguez said.

“Both of these types of complications can have life-long impacts,” Rodriguez said.

DiOrio said the vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella is the most effective protection against the virus. The vaccine is 88 percent effective, meaning 12 percent of the vaccinated population could still contract the virus.

“If people aren’t aware of their immunization status, they should check with their physicians and get up to date,” DiOrio said.

The CDC reports that in 2006, the U.S. experienced a multi-state outbreak involving 6,584 reported cases of mumps. Another outbreak in 2009-10 included more than 3,000 cases.

The prevalence of mumps has dropped drastically over the past 50 years — from 212,000 cases in 1964 to only 229 cases reported in 2012, according to CDC.

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