Los Angeles declared a mumps outbreak, after dozens of gay men report symptoms.
More than 40 men who have sex with men reported contracting the disease, according to Los Angeles County health officials.
An official alert released on Thursday (1 June) said: ‘The majority of these cases are among MSM but some are women and heterosexual men with social connections to MSM cases.
‘Most transmissions appear to have occurred at large venues such as athletic clubs, bars, theaters and nightclubs,’ the report continued.
The alert also states most of the reported cases were unvaccinated, but some of them were.
Symptoms include swelling at the side of the face under the ears, as well as headaches, joint pain, loss of appetite and a high temperature.
If you think you may have the infection, doctors suggest contacting your doctor as soon as possible.
As it is highly contagious, let your GP know you may have mumps before your appointment and avoid contact with others.
According to the NHS website, you can prevent contracting the infection in three main ways:
- Regularly washing your hands with soap
- Using and disposing of tissues when you sneeze
- Avoiding school or work for at least five days after your symptoms first develop
Mumps is on the rise in America, with 5,833 reported cases in 2016. Between January and April this year, there have been 2,570 reported cases, according to CDC figures.
Although it is incurable, the infection can last up to two weeks. Once this period is over, you normally develop a lifelong immunity to further infection.
Immunization is still the best chance of prevention.