Two new Spokane residents have been diagnosed with mumps, bringing the number of confirmed cases countywide to four.
Two Spokane residents between 10 and 19 were diagnosed last week, the Spokane Regional Health District said. The more recent cases were confirmed Monday.
Three of the four patients were fully vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, which is about 88 percent effective at preventing mumps, health district spokeswoman Kim Papich said. The fourth person’s vaccine status is unknown.
Vaccination remains the best prevention against mumps, Papich said. The health district is hosting a free walk-in vaccination clinic Wednesday at Rogers High School from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.
“We expect to see more cases because it’s communicable and it’s easily spread in environments where people are in close, prolonged contact with each other,” Papich said.
An investigation into the cause of the outbreak are ongoing, Papich said. The health district has confirmed none of the patients has traveled outside the U.S. recently, meaning the disease didn’t come from another country.
None were recently vaccinated, so their cases are not side effects from the vaccine, she said. The MMR vaccine sometimes causes mild side effects like fevers and rashes, according to the CDC.
A mumps outbreak began in late November in King County. There are currently about 84 confirmed and suspected mumps cases there, mostly in Auburn.
Papich said it’s still unknown if the Spokane cases are related. It’s likely the health district will not be able to pinpoint a source for the local cases, she said.
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