MUMPS UPDATE: There are now eight cases in the city of Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The city of Milwaukee Health Department says there are now eight confirmed cases of mumps in the city. 

The Health Department received one additional report of a confirmed case of mumps on Monday, May 12th -- raising the total to eight.

The Health Department says half of the cases are known to involve students in university settings.

The Health Department says it continues to coordinate closely with university health centers and health care providers to monitor the confirmed cases and reduce transmission in the community.

Mumps is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the mumps virus.

It is spread by airborne droplets and contact with saliva or mucus from infected persons.

Mumps can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing as well as sharing food or beverage items and utensils with infected individuals.

Symptoms of mumps include fever, body aches, headaches, and swelling of the salivary glands near the ears and jaw. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should contact his/her health care provider for diagnosis and testing.

The MHD recommends that persons experiencing symptoms consistent with mumps infection, especially swelling of one or both salivary glands, stay home from work or school for a minimum of five days after the onset of swelling.

Individuals are also advised to cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing and wash hands frequently with soap and water.

While most individuals recover fully, mumps infection can occasionally cause serious complications in adults that can include inflammation of the testicles in men or ovaries and breasts in women, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), and temporary or permanent deafness.

Vaccination with two doses of Mumps-Measles-Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps infection.