The statewide outbreak of mumps has touched the Tri-Cities.
A preschool-age child in Benton County has a confirmed case of the illness.
A probable case also was reported in an adult male in Franklin County earlier this year.
Since October, more than 620 probable and confirmed cases had been reported across Washington.
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Mumps is caused by a virus and spreads through contact with an infected person’s saliva or mucus.
Transmission can happen through coughs, sneezes, talking, sharing items such as utensils and similar interactions.
The signature symptom of mumps is swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite.
The best way to prevent mumps infection is the MMR vaccine, said Dr. Amy Person, health officer of the Benton-Franklin Health District.
Infection can still happen in those who are vaccinated, as was the case with the preschool age child in Benton County, she said.
But vaccination greatly reduces the chance of infection and the spread in the community, she said.
“We want to encourage people to make sure they’re receiving all their recommended vaccines. That we see mumps in people who are vaccinated doesn’t mean the vaccine doesn’t work. Vaccines are not a perfect solution, but they are our best way of limiting the spread of a disease and of (protecting against) mumps.”