Maui News

Hawai‘i Mumps Rate Declining After Initial 2017 Outbreak

March 5, 2018, 11:12 AM HST
* Updated March 5, 11:17 AM
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The state Department of Health reports that the mumps outbreak is slowing despite new cases recently recorded on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island.

The current outbreak began in March 2017 with two clusters of cases involving nine individuals on Oʻahu. The number of cases climbed steadily and reached 500 by late October with confirmed cases in all counties, prompting the health department to recommend an outbreak dose of the MMR vaccine for adolescents (aged 10-19 years) and adults (born in 1957 or later).

As of March 1, 2018, the total number of confirmed mumps cases statewide stands at 902, with 719 on Oʻahu, 131 on Hawaiʻi Island, 49 on Kauaʻi and three on Maui.

State epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park says the public should continue to protect themselves with an outbreak dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

“Prevention is the key,” Dr. Park said. “The best way to avoid the mumps is to get vaccinated. We urge the public to remain vigilant and protect themselves and their family members by getting the vaccine.”

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The MMR vaccine is available at local pharmacies. Click here to locate a vaccinating pharmacy nearest you.

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“First and foremost, we recommend everyone 10 to 60 years of age receive a dose of the MMR vaccine, which prevents many cases of mumps,” Dr. Park said, noting that those who live, work, or socialize in crowded or close contact conditions for prolonged periods are most at risk for the infection if they are exposed to the virus.

Persons with mumps and those who are potentially infectious should limit contact with others to prevent spreading the disease. In addition to staying home when sick, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health recommends washing your hands frequently with soap and water, avoid sharing food or drinks, and disinfecting surfaces to avoid disease transmission. Along with getting vaccinated, these healthy habits can help protect people from getting the disease.

The health department will continue its efforts to educate the public through posters, fact sheets, and outbreak MMR vaccination recommendations in multiple languages as well as other resources, posted online.

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The website also provides resources for clinicians, and healthcare providers will continue to receive updates through medical advisories. Healthcare providers should report any suspected cases of mumps to Hawaiʻi Department of Health by calling the disease reporting line at (808) 586-4586.

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