The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) now puts the number of suspected and lab confirmed mumps cases in the country’s largest outbreak to 1,028, according to data published Monday.
The northwestern counties of Benton, Madison and Washington and the central Arkansas county of Pulaski are affected by the outbreak.
As previously reported, a large percentage of cases are in adults and children who have been vaccinated.
Through the end of October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provisionally reported more than 2,800 cases. This tops the total mumps cases reported in all of 2010 (2,612), the previous high.
Mumps is an acute viral infection of the salivary glands. Symptoms include swelling and tenderness of the cheeks, usually preceded by fever, headache and muscle aches. Mumps infection can also lead to more serious health complications such as testicular infection and inflammation, meningitis, and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
Transmission occurs through sneezing, coughing, contact with saliva (through sharing of utensils, towels, kissing, sharing cigarettes and drinks, etc.), or from contact with surfaces that have become contaminated with the mumps virus. The incubation period is 16–18 days, and individuals are considered most infectious from 2 days prior through 5 days after the onset of symptoms.
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