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Third case of mumps confirmed in Whatcom County as state outbreak continues

What is mumps and how does it spread?

Although vaccines have nearly eliminated this once common childhood disease in the U.S., mumps is still a concern throughout much of the undeveloped world, and has had several recent outbreaks stateside. Carrie Bohenick, MD, a pediatrician at Akro
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Although vaccines have nearly eliminated this once common childhood disease in the U.S., mumps is still a concern throughout much of the undeveloped world, and has had several recent outbreaks stateside. Carrie Bohenick, MD, a pediatrician at Akro

A Western Washington University student has contracted mumps – becoming the third case in Whatcom County since January, public health officials said Friday.

The ill student doesn’t live on campus, the Whatcom County Health Department said, and fewer than 25 people may have been exposed.

The health department and Western have notified people who may have been exposed to the student.

Washington is in the midst of a statewide mumps outbreak that has sickened at least 847 people since October, according to the state Department of Health.

The last time the state saw this number of cases was in 1976, when there were 946, according to state health officials. Last year, there were 155 mumps cases statewide.

mumps
In this Jan. 29, 2015 file photo, a pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at his practice in Northridge, Calif. Staff AP

Mumps, caused by a virus, is contagious.

The MMR – measles, mumps and rubella – vaccine is the best way to prevent it, health officials said.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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