The McHenry County Department of Health has confirmed an outbreak of six mumps cases at the McHenry County Jail in Woodstock.
The health department is working alongside the Illinois Department of Public Health, the McHenry County Jail, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities to control the outbreak, according to a news release the health department sent Thursday.
Infected detainees have been isolated and exposed detainees are being quarantined, according to the release. Signage and educational materials about the mumps have been provided to detainees, inmates, staff, and jail visitors.
Mumps is a contagious, vaccine-preventable, viral disease that spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat, according to Susan Karras, the director of public health nursing for the McHenry County Department of Health.
“Mumps usually starts with fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite,” Karras said. “Then most people experience a swelling of their salivary glands, which causes puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12 to 25 days.”
Anyone with the mumps should stay home until at least five days after symptoms appear, according to the release. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks.
Although vaccinated children and adults can occasionally become infected, the disease is less likely to be severe, according to the release.
The health department last announced a mumps outbreak in February, when eight cases were confirmed throughout the county. At the time, the disease was identified at the McHenry County Jail and The Arising Church, 211 N. Virginia St., Crystal Lake.
Officials are encouraging children and adults to be current with their immunizations, adding that children should receive the first dose of mumps-containing MMR vaccine at 12 to 15 months, and the second dose at 4 to 6 years.
Adults born after 1957 should have one dose of MMR. People born before 1957 are thought to be immune, since they were likely infected naturally, according to the release.
Adults, including university students, health care personnel, international travelers and people with potential mumps outbreak exposure, are at a higher risk and should have documentation of two doses of mumps vaccine or other proof of immunity to mumps.
Information about the disease is available online at www.dph.illinois.gov/mumps or www.cdc.gov/mumps. The McHenry County Department of Health Communicable Disease Program also can be reached by calling 815-334-4500.