SANTEE, Calif. - For the second time in one week, someone at a San Diego-area college has been diagnosed with mumps and might have exposed others, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported Monday.
The most recent case was at San Diego Christian College in the East County. HHSA officials said the unnamed sick person, who has recovered, could have exposed other people on Sept. 16, 19 and 20.
"People who were on the campus during normal school hours on those days may have been exposed and could become ill with mumps 12-25 days later," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "We are encouraging immunizations for students and staff who are not up-to-date."
The person who was stricken has no known relationship with a student reported last week to have the mumps at Cal State San Marcos.
Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease that's spread by coughing, sneezing or close contact with an infected person. Mumps causes a fever, headache, earache and inflammation of the salivary glands that results in swelling and tenderness at the angle of the jaw.
Anyone who thinks that they may have mumps should contact their provider before going for care so proper precautions can be taken to prevent exposure to others, according to the HHSA.
Health officials said severe complications are rare, but can include meningitis, decreased fertility, permanent hearing loss and, in extreme cases, fetal loss during first trimester of pregnancy. There is no treatment for mumps, but most people recover without problems.
This spring, a small outbreak of 13 mumps cases at the University of San Diego was controlled with a mass vaccination campaign, according to the HHSA.
County health officials said the best way to prevent mumps is by getting the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Two doses of the vaccine are recommended -- one at 12 to 15 months of age and another at 4 to 6 years of age. A third booster shot is recommended for those in close living conditions when there is an outbreak.
More information about mumps, other vaccine-preventable diseases, and the vaccines that protect against them, is available online at sdiz.org or by calling the County HHSA Immunization Program at (866) 358-2966.