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Mumps News From the DOH

Daniel Ho, News Writer

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So far in 2017 Hawaii has had 500 confirmed cases of the Mumps virus.  12 of those 500 cases has also resulted in other complications such as hearing loss.  Although the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is given to small children, the Department of Health is now recommending an additional dose of the vaccine as a preemptive measure.  According to State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park, the disease is currently infecting people that have already been previously vaccinated.   A vaccination is recommended for all peoples under 60 years of age who have not gotten a vaccination in the last five years.  College and university students are especially encouraged to get a vaccination because of the fact that their age group is being the most affected.

“The disease continues to affect both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals” – Dr. Sarah Park

Mumps is a viral infection that is easily spread.  Mumps spreads through airborne droplets via coughing and/ or sneezing, infected saliva, or by simply touching a contaminated surface like a doorknob or a desk.  Mumps results in a noticeable swelling of the salivary glands.  Symptoms of mumps include swollen and painful salivary glands, fever, headache, fatigue, and appetite loss.  Mumps is treatable by a medical professional and recovery takes about two weeks.

A person with mumps is not allowed to attend school, work, or travel for nine days after the swelling of the salivary glands as required by the Hawaii Administrative Rules 11-156.  However, people that have been in contact with the mumps virus and have not been vaccinated cannot attend school, work, or travel from the 12th day to the 25th day after exposure to the virus.

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