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    September 2018
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Hawai‘i Mumps Outbreak: 770 Confirmed Cases

The total number of confirmed mumps cases in Hawai‘i as of Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, stands at 770, with 108 on Hawai‘i Island, 610 on O‘ahu, 49 on Kaua‘i and three on Maui.

The ongoing mumps outbreak is by far the worst in several decades for Hawai‘i, which typically has fewer than 10 cases a year.

State Epidemiologist and Chief of the Disease Outbreak Control Division Dr. Sarah Park noted that in previous years, mumps cases were imported, but recently outbreak cases have been acquired locally. What began in March 2017 as two clusters of cases involving nine individuals on O‘ahu, increased to 500, with confirmed cases in all counties by late October 2017.

Commonly considered a disease that affects only young children, mumps, is affecting primarily adults and adolescents in Hawai‘i. Adults between the ages of 20 and early 40s, and adolescents 10 years old and above make up the majority of Hawai‘i’s recent mumps cases, according to the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH).

However, the DOH offers practical ways to avoid getting the disease.

“We strongly recommend getting an outbreak dose of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, especially for those who live, work or socialize regularly in crowded settings,” said Dr. Park. “It’s also important to stay home when sick and even consider methods of social distancing, which includes avoiding crowded settings and gatherings, and not hugging or kissing when greeting others.”

“Based on the cases that we have been able to track, the common denomination has been exposure to some type of gathering, whether school, work, church, family gathering or other social event,” she said.

Hawai‘i is not the only state that has experienced a mumps epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from Sunday, Jan. 1, through Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, 48 states and the District of Columbia, reported mumps infections. In addition to Hawai‘i, Washington, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and New York each reported more than 300 cases in 2017.

The MMR vaccine prevents most cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. Individuals who have been appropriately vaccinated with a routine two-dose series can still get mumps, especially if they have prolonged, close contact with someone who has the disease, but those who are vaccinated and get the mumps will likely have less severe illness than unvaccinated individuals.

“If it were not for our highly vaccinated population, we would expect to see many more cases in individuals exposed to the mumps virus, more severe illness in those who have been sick, and more complications from the disease,” Dr. Park said.

The most common symptoms of mumps include swollen glands in front of ears or jaw on one or both sides, fever, muscle aches, headache, loss of appetite, and tiredness. Persons with symptoms of mumps should contact their healthcare provider for testing.

Complications from mumps include orchitis (swelling of the testicles), oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries), meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord), encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and temporary or permanent hearing loss. In rare cases, death may also occur.

The MMR vaccine is available at local pharmacies. To locate a vaccinating pharmacy nearest you, go online or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Additional information about mumps can be found on the DOH website.

8 Additional Mumps Cases Reported in Hawaii – Outbreak Continues

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed eight (8) additional cases of Oahu residents with mumps bringing the total number of cases in 2017 to 89. The recently confirmed cases include children and adults. None of the individuals required hospitalization and all have recovered or are recovering.

The department expects to see more cases of mumps in Hawaii as the viral disease is highly contagious and circulating on Oahu. Information on case numbers is updated regularly at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/department-of-health-investigating-mumps-cases/.

The DOH is recommending all adults born in or after 1957, without evidence of immunity to mumps, who cannot verify previous MMR vaccination, should receive at least one MMR vaccine dose. Individuals with only one documented MMR dose, are strongly encouraged to consider receiving a second MMR vaccine dose.

MMR vaccine is available at local pharmacies across the state. To locate a vaccinating pharmacy, go to http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/vaccines-immunizations/vaccine-locators/ or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Additional information about mumps and the ongoing investigation can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/department-of-health-investigating-mumps-cases/.

Hawaii Mumps Outbreak Explodes – 16 Additional Oahu Cases

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed 16 additional cases of Oahu residents with mumps bringing the total number of cases in 2017 to 81. The recently confirmed cases include children and adults. Most of the cases are linked to previously confirmed illnesses. None of the individuals required hospitalization and all have recovered or are recovering.

The number of cases continues to steadily increase as today’s number represents test results received over the extended holiday weekend. The department expects to see more cases of mumps in Hawaii as the viral disease is highly contagious and circulating on Oahu. Information on case numbers is updated regularly at http://health.hawaii.gov/…/department-of-health-investigat…/.

The DOH is recommending all adults born in or after 1957, without evidence of immunity to mumps, who cannot verify previous MMR vaccination, should receive at least one MMR vaccine dose. Individuals with only one documented MMR dose, are strongly encouraged to consider receiving a second MMR vaccine dose.

MMR vaccine is available at local pharmacies across the state. To locate a vaccinating pharmacy in your community, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/…/vaccines-immun…/vaccine-locators/ or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Mumps is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus is also spread by sharing items such as cups or eating utensils, or by touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Prevent the spread of mumps in our community by:

  • Ensuring your family is fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. High vaccination coverage helps to limit the spread of mumps. Two doses of the vaccine are 88 percent effective at protecting against mumps and one dose is 78 percent effective. Being fully vaccinated can help protect loved ones, family members, friends, classmates and coworkers.
  • Patients suspected or diagnosed with mumps should self-isolate and avoid going out and exposing others for nine (9) days after onset of parotitis (tender, swollen jaw).
  • People 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.

Additional information about mumps and the ongoing investigation can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/…/department-of-health-investigat…/.