Mumps cases identified in South Kona

Two probable cases of the mumps have been identified in the South Kona area, state health officials said Wednesday,

The state Department of Health confirmed that two people had been identified, and they are both members of the same household. On Friday, the state had announced it was investigating a single case.


The individuals are both unvaccinated with no history of travel or exposure to visitors. Contacts have been notified, according to the department.

In the wake of a mumps outbreak in 2017-18 that infected over 1,000 statewide, the department is asking people to remain vigilant and advises anyone experiencing symptoms of mumps to get see their doctor as soon as possible.

Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Most people will develop swelling of their salivary glands, which causes puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.

Some people who get mumps have very mild symptoms (like a cold), or no symptoms at all and may not know they have the disease. In rare cases, mumps can cause more severe complications though most people recover completely within two weeks.

“Individuals experiencing symptoms consistent with mumps should seek medical attention,” said Katie Change, a spokesperson for the Department of Health.

Anyone who is infected with mumps must quarantine for nine days after the cheeks or jaw begin to swell, according to state law. And anyone who is unvaccinated must quarantine from the 12th to the 25th day after exposure.

The last outbreak of the mumps began in March 2017 with a cluster of nine people. By fall 2018, when the state declared the outbreak over, 1,009 individuals statewide had been infected. Hawaii County saw 134 cases.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 21 mumps cases had been reported across the country as of March 3. States reporting infections as of that date were Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

In 2021, 154 cases were reported in the U.S., down from 616 in 2020, 3,474 in 2019, 2,251 in 2018, and 6,109 in 2017.

The best way to protect against mumps? Get vaccinated.

“The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to protect against mumps disease. Please get vaccinated, remain alert for signs of mumps infection, and seek medical attention if experiencing symptoms,” Chang said.

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