Mumps Outbreak Sparks Concern in US States

Mumps Outbreak Sparks Concern in US States | Credits: Shutterstock

United States: Amidst the impending menace associated with measles, various states within the United States find themselves grappling with a new peril linked to mumps. The apprehensions of health authorities and experts have escalated following the revelation of a cluster of mumps cases in New Jersey.

Details disclosed by the New Jersey Department of Health indicate the emergence of a group of cases within a single family. The announcement was conveyed on Tuesday, accompanied by additional particulars about the infection, as reported by newjersey.com.

The revelations from the Health Department highlight the dissemination of this highly contagious infection among eight members of a family, resulting in a designated “family cluster” situated in Hunterdon County. According to the department, the case came to light subsequent to recent international travel.

How did experts address the recent health predicament?

Dr. Kaitlan Baston, the Acting Health Commissioner of New Jersey, issued a statement addressing the situation. The statement emphasized, “These viruses exhibit incredible contagiousness. If you suspect you may have measles, mumps, or rubella, it is imperative to call ahead before visiting any healthcare provider or facility so that they can implement special precautions.”

Visual Representation for MMR vaccine shot | Credits: CBC

The health concern also drew attention from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to official data from the federal health agency, mumps outbreaks are infrequently reported but not unheard of. Official statistics indicate that in 2023, the United States recorded approximately 436 cases. Interestingly, during 2016 and 2017, the nation reported upwards of 6,000 mumps cases, as outlined in reports by newjersey.com.

Furthermore, mumps cases were identified in the Berger County Jail in 2019, leading to a quarantine among inmates.

What symptoms manifest in infected individuals?

Typical symptoms experienced by those afflicted with mumps encompass swollen cheeks, inflamed jaws, fever or chills, along with headaches and fatigue. Health experts underscore that while the infection can propagate and induce complications, a majority of individuals recover within one to two weeks.

Health authorities advocate that this disease should be moreover vaccinated, especially among children. The recommended treatment is to give MMR vaccine (a live vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, and rubella). The immunization schedule, is planned out when the first shot has to be administered between 12-15 months, with the second shot getting injected at four to six years.