Alison Gaines is the nurse manager at the Juneau Public Health Center. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Mumps confirmed in Juneau for first time in 20 years

For the first time in 20 years, doctors have confirmed the presence of mumps in Juneau.

As of Thursday, there has been one confirmed case of the disease in Juneau and three possible cases, said Alison Gaines, the nurse manager at the Juneau Public Health Center. The first case was diagnosed in January, with the most recent suspected one springing up this past week, she said.

Amanda Tiffany, an epidemiologist at the Alaska Division of Public Health, said this is the first confirmed case of mumps in Juneau since 1997.

Mumps is a contagious disease that causes swelling in a person’s salivary glands. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. The disease is almost never fatal, and long-term effects are relatively rare. Mumps can cause some hearing loss, Tiffany said, as well as inflammation of the brain, brain membrane, testicles or ovaries.

For the rest of this story, visit the Juneau Empire.

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