Children near infected areas who haven't received the MMR vaccination are advised to stay away for at least 30 days.
Friday saw a massive outbreak of mumps in the state of Arkansas with 427 cases reported sparking an investigation into how to put a stop to the spread of the virus.
Most of the people affected have been children and the Arkansas Department of Health urge those who have not received the MMR vaccine to stay away from infected areas for up to a month in the hope to contain the outbreak. Alternatively children are able to get the vaccine and be able to return to school safely.
The mumps virus is easily spread through sneezing, coughing and sharing food or food utensils but can lead to devastating effects if contracted especially in adults. While some people don’t possess any symptoms, the most typical signs of mumps is similar to the flu such as swollen glands, fever, headaches, tiredness and chills with some experiencing pain in the neck, stomach and pelvis.
Since the introduction of the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) there have been very few cases of mumps reported as the vaccination is said to be around 80 percent effective in preventing the mumps virus.
More than 30 schools in the state have reported cases of mumps and parents are being advised on the best course of action for their children.