HAMILTON (Mercer) — A case of mumps was confirmed at a Mercer County middle school, officials said.

The letter was sent to parents at the Grice Middle School on Wednesday but no information about the student was released.

Since the advent of vaccines, mumps have become uncommon but this is the second mumps case this year in New Jersey. The state Department of Health said there was a confirmed mumps case in January but did not disclose where. The CDC reported 70 cases of mumps nationwide through Jan. 25.

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands leading to puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.

Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12–25 days after infection.

Symptoms of mumps include swelling as seen in this CDC file photo.

Some people who get mumps have very mild symptoms (like a cold), or no symptoms at all and may not know they have the disease. Deaths are rare and have not been reported in recent outbreaks in the country.

The CDC said that cases of mumps have been drastically reduced because of vaccinations.

Outbreaks have most commonly occurred among groups of people who have prolonged, close contact, such as sharing water bottles or cups, kissing, practicing sports together, or living in close quarters, with a person who has mumps.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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