The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is investigating an outbreak of Mumps in the Springdale area after two cases have been confirmed and several suspected cases have been identified. This is the largest cluster of mumps cases that Arkansas has experienced since 2010.

 

 

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is investigating an outbreak of Mumps in the Springdale area after two cases have been confirmed and several suspected cases have been identified. This is the largest cluster of mumps cases that Arkansas has experienced since 2010.

In response to the outbreak, ADH is requiring students in the same school with vaccine exemptions for the MMR (Mumps, Measles, and Rubella) vaccine to be excluded from school for 26 days from the date of exposure and until the outbreak has ended. Students with non-medical exemptions, who receive the recommend doses of MMR vaccine, may return to school immediately. Right now, this outbreak affects schools in the Springdale School District. ADH is working with people who have potentially been exposed and contacting area clinics and hospitals to make sure they are aware that they may see cases of Mumps.

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. 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.

“Mumps is easily spread from person to person,” said Dirk Haselow, MD, PhD, State Epidemiologist and Outbreak Response Medical Director for ADH. “We expect to see more cases in the coming weeks. We urge Arkansans to make sure that they and their loved ones are up-to-date on the MMR vaccine.”

The MMR vaccine is safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine is 88 percent effective in preventing mumps. It is a live virus vaccine and is not recommended for pregnant women or patients with a weakened immune system. Adults born before 1957 are generally considered to be immune to mumps and do not need to receive the MMR vaccine.

The current CDC recommendations for MMR vaccination are as follows:

· For children younger than 6 years of age, one dose of MMR vaccine or MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella) vaccine at age 12-15 months, followed by a second dose of either MMR vaccine or MMRV vaccine at age 4-6 years.

· For children age 7 through 18 years not previously vaccinated, one dose of MMR vaccine or MMRV vaccine, followed by a second dose of either MMR vaccine or MMRV vaccine at least 4 weeks after the first dose.

· For adults born in 1957 or later and not previously vaccinated, one dose of MMR vaccine.

· A second dose of MMR vaccine is recommended for adults born in 1957 or later, who are students in a post-secondary educational institution, work in a health care facility, or plan to travel internationally. The second dose should be administered a minimum of 28 days after the first dose.

MMR vaccines are available at the Local Health Unit in your county, and may also be available at your doctor’s office or your local pharmacy.

For more information about mumps and vaccination, or to find a Local Health Unit close to you, visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov.