Health Officials Confirm Alaska Mumps Case

Alaska health officials have confirmed the first case of mumps in the state since 1995.

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The disease was confirmed in a 50-year-old Alaska woman who apparently contracted mumps in Japan.

Fewer than 500 people in the nation contract mumps annually.

Mumps is a communicable virus but preventable by vaccine. Complications can cause meningitis, encephalitis and deafness.

The woman on July 11 told doctors she had headache, jaw pain and trismus, a symptom that can mean jaw muscle spasms or locking.

The woman while in Japan stayed in a home where a girl had been diagnosed with mumps.

The Alaska Section of Epidemiology says the woman’s symptoms began to subside about a week after she reported them.