Since the largest cluster of mumps cases since 2010 was first reported in Northwest Arkansas about one month ago, The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) now puts the suspected and lab confirmed cases of mumps at 322, as of Friday.
Just one week ago, ADH epidemiologist, Dirk Haselow said the number of positive cases to more than double in the coming weeks. This was said when the case count was 162.
Mumps cases have been confirmed in 31 schools in three districts.
Mumps is an acute viral disease characterized by fever, swelling, and tenderness of one or more salivary glands. Mumps is not common in the United States due to robust vaccination programs. The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine protects against mumps–the CDC says it’s 88 percent effective.
Mumps is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and sends the mumps virus into the air. The virus can land in other people’s noses or throats when they breathe or put their fingers to their mouth or nose after handling an infected surface.
Mumps is generally transmitted from about 3 days before symptoms appear to about 5 days after, although the virus has been isolated from saliva as early as 7 days before to as late as 9 days after the onset of symptoms.
As of August 13, 2016, 40 states (AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MA, MD, MI, MN, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NYC, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, & WI) in the U.S. reported mumps infections in 1,786 people to CDC.