The N.C. Division of Public Health says it has found seven cases of the mumps in three counties, prompting a reminder for people to make sure they are up to date with their vaccines.
A news release from the division on Thursday said the seven cases were found in Orange, Wake and Watauga counties. They were identified in April, and officials said college and elementary school students are among those affected.
“The most effective way to prevent mumps is to get vaccinated,” Dr. Zack Moore, North Carolina State Epidemiologist, said in a released statement. “Anyone who thinks they might have mumps should contact their physician and have appropriate laboratory testing.”
Mumps is a viral illness known to cause swelling of the salivary glands below the ears and above the jaws. Infection is spread by droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected person.
The division said while it's possible for people who have been vaccinated to get mumps, the risk is higher in those who are not.
Seperately, The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported that four people died from the flu last week.
According to the weekly report, the latest deaths come after two people died in the previous week. There were no pediatric deaths among the six reported. For the 2016-17, the death toll now stands at 193 with three weeks left in the current season, compared to 59 in all of the previous season.