Health Department

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Health Alerts

We want to bring an important health matter to your attention.
If you have any concerns or questions related to this health alert, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Your health and well-being are our top priorities. We appreciate your cooperation in helping keep Grundy County safe and healthy.

Mission: Preserving, Protecting, Promoting the health and well-being of Grundy County

Vision: Healthy People, Thriving Communities, and Vibrant Futures


Mumps in Illinois

In the United States and in Illinois, the number of mumps cases can vary each year. The disease typically peaks in late winter or spring, frequently coinciding with peak influenza season. This statewide notification is being sent to remind health care providers to be vigilant in looking for signs and symptoms of mumps, to promptly report mumps cases to their local health department (LHD), and to consult with their LHD regarding testing of persons with parotitis for mumps and influenza.

Mumps, an acute vaccine-preventable viral illness transmitted by respiratory droplets and saliva, has an incubation period from 12-25 days. Up to half of people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and therefore do not know they were infected with mumps. The most common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis). Orchitis, oophoritis, meningitis, encephalitis, hearing loss, mastitis, and pancreatitis can also occur but are rare.

Laboratory confirmation of suspect cases is important, so buccal swabs should be collected from suspect cases and sent to a commercial laboratory that conducts Mumps PCR testing; or you may contact your LHD to seek approval for testing at the IDPH laboratory. The optimal time for buccal swab specimen collection is preferably within three days of onset in those previously vaccinated or within eight days after symptom onset in unvaccinated individuals. Buccal swab is the preferred method over IgM testing for confirmation of mumps.

Parotitis can also be caused by other pathogens such as influenza, parainfluenza, and Epstein Barr virus among a few others; therefore, testing for other pathogens can help differentiate between mumps and another viral illness. CDC recommends that, during the 2016-2017 influenza season, clinicians evaluating patients with acute parotitis not associated with laboratory-confirmed mumps outbreaks should include influenza in the differential diagnoses and consider testing patients for influenza viruses even in the absence of respiratory symptoms. If testing for mumps is requested at IDPH laboratory, IDPH recommends influenza testing also be conducted. If influenza testing is needed at IDPH, providers should contact their LHD for authorization and instructions. Please reference the IDPH Laboratory Manual of Services for more information about mumps and influenza testing.

Children should receive the first dose of mumps-containing vaccine, MMR, at 12-15 months and the second dose at 4-6 years. All adults born during or after 1957 should have documentation of one dose of MMR. Adults at higher risk, such as university students, health care personnel, international travelers and persons with potential mumps outbreak exposure, should have documentation of two doses of mumpsvaccine or other proof of immunity to mumps. If you need to be vaccinated or need your vaccination records evaluated, contact your healthcare provider.

Mumps is reportable within 24 hours in Illinois. Prevention and control measures are needed for cases and contacts, so prompt notification is critical. Patients diagnosed with mumps should stay home for at least five days after onset of parotitis. Health care providers should report cases of mumps to their LHD.

Additional information regarding influenza and parotitis can be found on the CDC website or on the 2016-2017 Influenza Update for Health Care Providers. To monitor the U.S.-wide mumps cases and outbreaks, visit the CDC mumps page. If you have additional questions, please contact your local health department or IDPH communicable disease control section at 217-782-2016.

Zika Virus

Zika Virus Memorandum


To:  Local Health Department Administrators

From:  Connie Austin, State Veterinarian
Jane Fornoff, APORS Manager

Date: January 25, 2016

RE: Zika virus and microcephaly


The Illinois Department of Public Health is beginning to receive questions about the Zika virus infections during pregnancy and its suspected relationship to severe microcephaly.  This memo provides information about this issue and requests your help in the ongoing national research efforts.

Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas.  Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries.  please check the CDC website for the latest countries reported with Zika virus  Cases of Zika have been reported in Illinois among returning travelers.

The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis.  The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week.  There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.   travelers should reduce their risks of this disease by using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.  Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to areas where there is ongoing transmission.  CDC is developing and translating information for travelers: they will be available at the web-site above.  Current recommendations are attached with this memorandum.

When High-risk Infant Follow-up nurses offer services to families of an APORS baby reported with microcephaly, we would like to ask mothers about their travel history (countries and dates of travel) to affected regions during her pregnancy.  This information (positive or negative) should be documented in the APORS database in the local health department comment field.  This data will be helpful in understanding whether Zika virus could be implicated in less severe microcephaly as well as the most severe cases.  Thank you for your contributions to our better understanding of the public health concern.

Link To Zika Questions and Answers
Link to the CDC for more Zika Information

Flu Season

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