The mumps outbreak has spread to the University of Washington

Seattle and King County Heath officials say a dozen students, all connected to sororities or fraternities, have contracted the illness.

At last count, there were 563 cases, statewide, according to the Washington State Health department. That includes more than 200 each in King and Spokane Counties

It's a big increase from last year, when only 154 confirmed and probable mumps cases were reported statewide.

The outbreak began late last year and hit the Auburn School District so hard, unvaccinated students were told to stay home in the early part of the year.

Mumps is a virus that can cause fever, headache, and painful swelling of the cheeks and jaw.

The Centers for Disease Control says the best way to protect yourself is with immunizations, hand washing, and good hygiene practices.