Aurora BayCare caregiver tests positive for mumps

Aurora BayCare caregiver tests positive for mumps infection.
Aurora BayCare caregiver tests positive for mumps infection.

BROWN COUNTY – It's the first mumps case Brown County health officials have seen in years.

Aurora BayCare Medical Center confirms that one of its caregivers in Green Bay has tested positive for the contagious mumps disease.

Over the last two years, the state's had 11 confirmed cases of the mumps; this year, it's 14.

Aurora Medical Center isn't giving specifics about the infected caregiver or if patients and other staff should be concerned.

“As providers of medical services, caring for patients with infectious diseases is an everyday occurrence,” said Aurora BayCare Medical Center’s Medical Affairs Vice President Dr. Richard Ludgin in an emailed statement.

“On notification of a confirmed case of mumps in one of our caregivers, we immediately conducted an internal audit to identify, assess and test (for immunity) anyone considered to be at risk for exposure.”

Mumps is a highly contagious viral infection spread through an infected person's saliva.

People are normally protected through the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines, given at a very young age.

County health officials aren't surprised by the confirmed mumps case, as several hundred pop up in the U.S. each year.

"Is there a concern for other people that this person may have been around?” FOX 11’s Bill Miston asked Brown County Health Department Director Judy Friederichs.

“Typically, in any case that's reported to us, we work with the individual and we learn what the contacts are and then follow up is done with their contacts," Friederichs said.

Doctors say the best form of prevention is to get vaccinated.

"If that virus can find more susceptible hosts, it's going to spread through the community and the outbreak is going to be bigger,” said Dr. Todd Reynolds, who practices family medicine with Prevea Health.

State health codes say hospital employees and volunteers that have direct patient contact must complete health screenings that detailing medical histories and immunizations. But state codes do not specifically require the mumps vaccine.