Hawaii state health officials have reported 500 mumps cases, including a dozen complications (e.g., orchitis, hearing loss) in 2017 prompting recommendations for an additional “outbreak MMR dose” for certain age groups as a preventive measure against the communicable viral infection.
“Since March, a steady stream of cases has been occurring, and we are now beginning to see more communities involved in the outbreak,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “The disease continues to affect both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, which prompted us to review data from our cases and recommend an additional dose of MMR vaccine for those who meet the criteria below.”
The disease has been confirmed in children and adults, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. Nearly 60% of cases have been in adults aged 18 years and older.
To help prevent the spread of mumps, DOH recommends the following persons born in 1957 or later, especially those who live, work, or attend school in crowded conditions, receive a dose of MMR vaccine now: those who received one (1) MMR dose five (5) or more years ago; those who received two (2) MMR doses ten (10) or more years ago; and those with no or unknown vaccination history. In other words, for persons born in 1957 or later:
Since children routinely receive their second dose of MMR vaccine before entering kindergarten, the recommendation for the “outbreak MMR dose” applies to adolescents and young adults. University and college students are particularly vulnerable because they live, work, and/or attend school in crowded settings and tend to be in the age group in which most cases have been occurring.
Patients suspected or diagnosed with mumps should remain at home to avoid spreading the disease to others. According to Hawaii Administrative Rules 11-156, a person with mumps may not attend school, work, or travel for nine (9) days after the onset of parotitis (swelling of the salivary glands). Those who have been exposed to mumps and are not vaccinated should not attend school, work or travel from day 12 through day 25 after exposure to the virus.
As of Oct 19, the distribution of cases by county is as follows: Honolulu (409), Hawaii (46), Kauai (43) and Maui (2).
Mumps is spread easily through coughing, sneezing and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands. Symptoms include fever, headache, swollen glands in front of the ears or jaw, tiredness and muscle aches.