MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities mom says her 6-year-old daughter contracted the mumps despite getting all of her vaccines on time.
The little girl, named Aurora, is in quarantine right now through Christmas to prevent others from getting the highly contagious disease that has no known cure or treatment.
This is a picture of Aurora taken two days ago — the day she was diagnosed.
You can see the swelling around her neck, which is one of the classic symptoms of mumps.
The disease can lead to hearing loss, miscarriage in pregnant women and — if it spreads to the brain — potentially deadly conditions such as meningitis and encephalitis.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, up to 20 percent of people who get the vaccine still get the mumps.
“[Aurora] is doing much better today,” said her mother, Erika. “Yesterday, Aurora was not feeling well at all.”
Erika has no idea how Aurora caught the mumps. She went to school on Friday.
“Aurora was fully vaccinated on schedule, and so I’m concerned that parents are going to think their kid is not prone to get this,” Erika said.
There have been recent outbreaks of mumps among NHL teams, including the Minnesota Wild.
Mumps is spread by direct contact with saliva. Kissing, sharing objects contaminated with saliva — like a cup or water bottle — or breathing droplets from a cough are all ways to contract the disease.
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and swollen glands.
Someone who is exposed to mumps can come down with symptoms anywhere from 12 to 25 days.
Kris Ehresmann of the Minnesota Department of Health says the number of mumps cases is up only slightly.
“This year in Minnesota, we’ve had 19 cases,” Ehresmann said.
She says the mumps portion of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is effective 80 percent of the time, but still provides critical protection
“It’s still a very good vaccine, but it is possible that someone who is vaccinated could, you know, develop mumps,” Ehresmann said.
Those who get the vaccination and still get the mumps also tend to get milder versions of the disease, which again has no cure and no know treatment.
Erika says she is thankful that her daughter’s case appears to be one of those milder ones.