Six cases of mumps connected to Arapahoe Basin |

Six cases of mumps connected to Arapahoe Basin

Deepan Dutta
Summit Daily News
Tania Engle, a physician's assistant at the Edwards Walk-In Clinic inside Shaw Regional Cancer Center, prepares a tetanus shot.
Lexi Christensen | Special to the Daily |

Summit County and state public health officials announced Friday that they have confirmed a cluster of mumps cases among Arapahoe Basin Ski area employees and people associated with them. The first case of mumps was reported back in April, while the other five cases were confirmed in the last few weeks.

County public health nursing manager Sara Lopez said during a media conference call that the risk of contracting the disease at A-Basin or elsewhere in the county is “minimal” at this time. However, combined with the explosion of measles cases across the country, Lopez urged adults and children in the county to get vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella according to schedules prescribed by doctors.

Typically, children should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine — one between 12 to 15 months and one between 4 and 6 years of age. The MMR vaccine is not 100% effective and can lose efficacy over time, especially for people with compromised immune systems. Adults considered at high risk — including college students and nurses — should get a booster MMR vaccine to bolster immunity if they have not gotten one as adults.

Mumps is a very contagious viral disease that causes swelling in the salivary glands in the cheeks, along with fever, fatigue and other symptoms. Mumps has a relatively long incubation period of 16 to 18 days, making it more difficult to track cases and spread. The disease spreads through saliva, meaning it can be spread through coughing or sneezing; kissing or other method of saliva exchange; or touching contaminated surfaces.

Arapahoe Basin ski area said it had taken necessary precautions and has been working with the state and county authorities to ensure the health and safety of its guests.

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