Eight suspected cases of mumps have been reported in one family by the state Department of Health, prompting a reminder about being up-to-date on vaccinations and aware of the symptoms.

The Hunterdon County family traveled internationally and was diagnosed with the highly contagious virus upon their return. The family's destination and the town where they live were not disclosed.

A Camden County resident was diagnosed with measles in January.

The best way to avoid measles, mumps and rubella is through a vaccine, according to the Department of Health. Two doses are administered to children at 12-15 months and again between ages 4-6. The pandemic took many kids off track from getting regular immunizations.

RELATED: Child vaccination in NJ still falling short of pre-COVID numbers

CDC information about mumps
CDC information about mumps (CDC)

Mumps and measles symptoms are similar

For the 2022-2023 school year, 92.8% of children in New Jersey had met all immunization requirements for school attendance.

“As a physician and as a mom, I understand what it is like to try to keep your kids and your family healthy. The best way to keep you and your loved ones safe is to get the MMR shot. If you or your family have not gotten the shot, now is the time,” acting Health Commissioner Dr. Kaitlan Baston said in a statement.

“These viruses are incredibly contagious, so if you suspect you may have measles, mumps, or rubella, it is important to call ahead before visiting any health care provider or facility so they can take special precautions.”

Symptoms of mumps include:

    • Fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite
    • Later, it appears as a swelling of the salivary glands or puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw
    • Measles can also cause neurologic or brain complications for people later in life.

Symptoms of measles include:

    • Symptoms appear about one to two weeks after exposure.
    • Symptoms start as a high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery or red eyes.
    • The measles rash starts three to five days after the other symptoms.

Symptoms for rubella are mild and are similar to measles. But rubella can be dangerous for pregnant people and can cause birth defects, miscarriage, or death for babies shortly after birth.

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