The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reported Wednesday that the mumps outbreak, that as of today stands at 769 suspected and lab confirmed cases, is now being reported in Pulaski County in central Arkansas.


ADH says a limited number of Mumps cases have now been identified in Pulaski County. No schools in Pulaski County are affected at this time.

“We are very concerned about this outbreak,” said Dirk Haselow, MD, PhD, State Epidemiologist and Outbreak Response Medical Director for ADH. “Mumps can have serious complications. We continue to see a high number of new cases. Pulaski County residents should be aware of this outbreak and the potential for infection and should ensure that they are up-to-date with their MMR vaccine.”

In addition to Pulaski County, the bulk of the cases have been reported in the three northwestern counties of Benton, Madison and Washington. There are currently 25 workplaces, 4 school districts, and 2 private schools impacted.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mumps is a viral illness that is transmitted by direct contact with respiratory droplets or saliva from an infected person. It is best known for painful, swollen salivary glands that show up as puffy cheeks and swollen jaw. Boys may also have painful, swollen testicles. In some of these cases, fertility can be affected. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscles aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. There is no treatment, and symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few weeks. Mumps is usually a mild disease in children, but adults may have more serious disease with complications. Complications can include deafness and encephalitis. Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain.

In a report on this website two weeks ago, Dr Haselow told us that about 87 percent of cases in children 5-17 are up-to-date on their vaccination, while only 35 percent are up-to-date in adults 18 and older.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provisional data, 2,695 cases of mumps have been reported nationally as of Oct. 22.