DOH declares mumps outbreak over

KAILUA-KONA — Health officials have declared the end of the statewide mumps outbreak that began in 2017.

“We are able to declare the outbreak over because there have been no new cases confirmed in the last 50 days, which totals two maximum incubation periods for the illness,” said Dr. Sarah Park, Hawaii Department of Health state epidemiologist. “To curb the number of people getting sick, we recommended an additional MMR vaccine dose especially for adolescents and adults. We appreciate the public and our health care providers heeding this recommendation and for their vigilance.”

The outbreak began in March 2017 with two clusters of cases involving nine individuals on Oahu, and climbed steadily to 900 cases within a year, according to the department. In total, 1,009 people with mumps were identified during the statewide outbreak. Hawaii County saw 134 cases.

During the outbreak, DOH staff collected and tested specimens, provided technical assistance to health care providers, interviewed individuals with laboratory-confirmed disease, provided recommendations to schools and employers with possible exposures, developed educational materials and resources, and distributed information to health care providers.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cases of mumps rose significantly during 2016 and 2017 nationally to more than 6,000 annually. Since Jan. 1, other states with unusually high numbers of mumps cases include Alaska, California, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.