LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – At least 40 people in Los Angeles County and Orange County area have been diagnosed with mumps in what health officials are calling an outbreak – one of several across the nation this year.
According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, there have been 36 cases of mumps in L.A. County, four in Orange County and one case reported to the Long Beach Health Department.
Many of the local patients with the highly contagious virus were initially misdiagnosed with either salivary duct stones or lymphadenopathy, according to the alert.
The majority of the patients in the L.A. outbreak were “men who have sex with men (MSM),” the health department said. It appears the virus was mostly passed at “large venues such as athletic clubs, bars, theaters and nightclubs.”
Some women and heterosexual men were infected through their social connections with “MSM cases.”
A majority of the patients were not vaccinated, although some had full vaccinations.
Symptom can include fever, headache, myalgia, fatigue and salivary gland swelling. It can be transmitted through airborne respiratory secretions, saliva or infected objects.
Mumps is commonly passed in crowded environments through activities such as sharing utensils or kissing. Symptoms can develop 16 to 18 days after exposure.
The health department is advising all unvaccinated people to get the two-dose series of measles-mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations.
For more information on mumps, click here.