Public Health officials identify four more mumps cases in Delaware

The Division of Public Health (DPH) has identified four more cases of the mumps in Delaware as part of its ongoing investigation of an outbreak among attendees at two multi-cultural dances in New Castle County, bringing the total number of mumps cases in 2018 to 19.

DOVER (DE): At least 11 of the 19 persons with mumps attended either the Feb. 10, or March 3, 2018, social dance (Baile Mexicano) that took place at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. All 19 individuals reside in New Castle County. The age ranges of adults with the mumps virus are 21 to 57 years old. Additionally, there was one child under the age of 5 infected.

This is the first time that more than three mumps cases have been recorded during any calendar year since at least 2005. DPH recommends that anyone who attended either the Feb. 10 or March 3, 2018, dances contact their primary care physician to determine if they may have contracted mumps and if they and their family or close contacts need to receive vaccination against mumps.

“It’s extremely important to do everything you can do to protect yourself and your family from diseases like the mumps,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “The best protection against mumps is to make sure you and everyone in your home is up to date on their mumps vaccinations. Since everyone needs at least two vaccinations, and sometimes even three, knowing your vaccine schedule is vital.”

Patients who attended one of the above dances or who live with someone who attended one of the events who subsequently developed mumps, and who do not have health insurance or whose insurance does not cover the mumps/measles/rubella vaccine (MMR), should call one of the following DPH clinics: In New Castle County, call the Hudson State Service Center Immunization Clinic at 302-283-7587, (and select option #2) for an appointment to get an MMR vaccine; patients who live in Kent County and need vaccination may call DPH’s Kent County Immunization Clinic at 302-857-5140, and those in Sussex County may call DPH’s Georgetown Immunization Clinic at 302-515-3220.

Mumps is an acute viral infection spread through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or talking, sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others, and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that a substantial increase in the number of mumps outbreaks and outbreak-associated cases have occurred in the United States since late 2015.

Symptoms typically start with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands, which results in puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw. Symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but can range from 12 to 25 days after infection. Some people with mumps may not have any symptoms. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks. However, mumps can occasionally cause complications, especially in adults.

People known or suspected to have mumps should stay away from school or work until five days after the onset of swollen salivary glands, as there is no specific treatment for mumps.

The CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Teens and adults who did not get the recommended MMR vaccines per the above schedule should be vaccinated so they are up to date. During outbreaks, the CDC also recommends that those at highest risk due to exposure to people with mumps should receive a third dose of MMR.

Mumps is a reportable disease in Delaware. Suspected cases of mumps should be reported to DPH via fax at 302-223-1540; email at; or phone, 302-744-4990. Providers are asked not to wait for laboratory test results to return before reporting.

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