The country’s largest statewide mumps outbreak just continues to grow and The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reports as of today, 2,042 suspected and lab confirmed cases.
Currently, nine counties have active cases–Benton, Carroll, Clark, Conway, Faulkner, Howard, Madison, Pulaski, and Washington.
The outbreak is currently affecting 50 workplaces, 33 schools in 3 school districts, 5 colleges/vocational schools, and 1 private school, according to the ADH.
During the course of the outbreak, ADH officials have seen that 90% to 95% of school-aged children and 30% to 40% of adults involved in the outbreak have been fully immunized.
Despite these numbers, State Epidemiologist and Medical Director for Outbreak Response, Dirk Haselow, MD, PhD says the vaccine has been effective in that the number of complications seen with mumps is quite low for an outbreak this size.
In addition, vaccine effectiveness is the measure of how well a vaccine protects a population, not an individual. The rate of mumps infection within a vaccinated population would be more than 9 times lower than in an unvaccinated population.