HONOLULU — The state Department of Health has confirmed 14 more cases of residents with the mumps, raising the total number of cases this year to 133. Eleven cases are on Oahu, two on Kauai and one on the Big Island, that island’s first confirmed mumps case this year.
The new cases involved eight adults. None of the cases required hospitalization and all are recovering.
DOH officials are investigating the new cases and expect the mumps virus to continue circulating across the state.
People infected with mumps are urged to stay home and maintain a distance from others to prevent spreading the infection. State law requires people with mumps to avoid school, work or travel for nine days after salivary glands begin to swell.
“We continue to see people with mumps being mobile in the community well after the onset of the illness and before they have been diagnosed,” said Dr. Sarah Park, Hawaii state epidemiologist and chief of the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division. “This increases the risk for introduction of the disease on other islands and areas of our state as well as continued spread on Oahu.”
Mumps is highly contagious and is spread through coughing, sneezing and sharing cups and utensils. Symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, fever, tiredness, muscle aches and loss of appetite.
“If you are sick, even if you don’t know what you have, stay away from work,” said Aaron Ueno, DOH Big Island District Health officer. “Stay home.”
To prevent the spread of mumps, persons exhibiting symptoms of the disease should contact their healthcare provider immediately. Additionally, everyone is asked to review their immunization records to ensure they are fully vaccinated.
Children typically get their first dose of the measles- mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine between the ages of 1 and 15. Ueno said, however, that even people who have one dose of the vaccine have been among those infected. The symptoms for those with the first dose of the vaccines have been less severe compared to those without, he said.
The department is recommending children between 1 and 4 get a second dose.
A single dose provides people with 70 percent immunity against mumps. A second dose would give people 80 percent immunity.