February 13, 2019

Mumps, Oh My!

By Jessica Best, MD, YPS Chair
The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a warning about an increase in Mumps cases in immigration centers in Texas. Most cases occurred in the immigrant population, while few occurred in healthcare workers. At my own hospital in central Texas, there have been two confirmed cases. As emergency medicine physicians, we are at the front lines of healthcare. We need to make sure to keep an eye out for the rare infectious diseases that could lead to a potential outbreak.
During the flu season we will see hundreds of patients with flu-like illness, so how can we tell the difference? Mumps will typically present with a viral syndrome of fever, malaise, myalgias and headache. The one thing of that will help mumps stand out is unilateral or bilateral swelling of the parotid or salivary glands. Mumps is viral, the treatment is supportive.
Complications of mumps are rare but include: deafness, pancreatitis, oophoritis, orchitis, meningitis, and encephalitis. You can confirm the diagnosis by sending a sample from a throat swab, parotid or salivary duct swab, sample of CSF, or urine for virus detection by RT-PCR or viral culture. You can also send serum for IgM antibody testing. Make sure to report to your local health department.
CDC Mumps Information
Texas Mumps Advisory