Officials with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), in an update Wednesday, now is reporting 626 suspected and lab confirmed cases of mumps. ADH officials remind us that this is an active outbreak. Mumps case counts are provisional and include cases that are currently being investigated. Because this number is provisional, the numbers reported may occasionally decrease if lab tests are negative for mumps.
There are currently 19 workplaces, 4 school districts (including one school in Fayetteville), and 2 private schools impacted in Benton, Washington, and Madison counties.
The majority of cases are among school aged children; therefore, ADH has targeted its outbreak response to minimizing transmission within the impacted schools. ADH is requiring students who have a Mumps, Measles, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine exemption to be excluded from school for 26 days from the date of exposure or for the duration of the outbreak, whichever is longer.
As of October 8, 2016, 45 states and the District of Columbia (AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MA, MD, MS, MI, MN, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NYC, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, & WI) in the U.S. reported mumps infections in 2,345 people to CDC. Five states have reported more than 100 cases this year: AR, IA, IN, IL and MA.
Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared.
Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. It is usually a mild disease, but can occasionally cause serious complications.
The most common complication is inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty; rarely does this lead to fertility problems.
Other rare complications include inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord(encephalitis/meningitis), inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breasts (mastitis) in females who have reached puberty and deafness. Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.