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Watch Out: Cases of the Mumps are on the Rise in L.A. County

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The L.A. County Department of Public Health is saying cases of the mumps are on the rise this year. “At least nine cases of mumps have already been reported in Los Angeles County this year, six of which have been confirmed,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. “By comparison, seven cases were confirmed countywide in all of 2009, seven in 2008, and five in 2007.”

It's a vaccine-preventable viral illness, officials say, and is transmitted by coughing and sneezing. Symptoms, which can appear 12 to 25 days after exposure, include swelling of salivary glands, fever and inflammation of the testes in teenage and adult males, sometimes getting more severe with inflammation of the testicles, meningitis and encephalitis.

Four of the confirmed L.A. County cases have occurred over the past two months and are suspected of being related to an outbreak affecting the Hasidic Jewish population first seen on the East Coast in the U.S.