Mumps Outbreak in New Jersey and New York


Earlier this fall a mumps outbreak was confirmed by the New York Department of Health. The first cast was reported in August in Brooklyn. There are currently 349 confirmed or probable cases and 243 additional suspect cases under investigation. Cases have also been reported in Rockland and
Orange Counties in New York, Ocean County, New Jersey, and Quebec, Canada.

The initial case was an 11 year old boy who had recently traveled to the UK before attending an upstate New York Jewish summer camp. Most of the cases involved in the current outbreak involve the Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish community.

This is the largest mumps outbreak in the United States since 2006 where an outbreak of 6500 cases in Iowa occurred primarily in college dormitory residents.


Mumps is an acute viral disease characterized by fever, and swelling and tenderness of one or more salivary glands. Complications to mumps may include; orchitis (which has been reported to be a risk factor for testicular cancer), encephalitis and spontaneous abortion. Sterility in males is a rare possible outcome. The virus is transmitted person to person via airborne and droplet spread. Maximum infectiousness occurs between two days prior to onset of illness to four days afterwards.

Mumps can be prevented by vaccination. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination has an efficacy rate of 90%. The vaccine is given in two doses: one when a child is 12 months old and the other between the ages of 4 and 6 or when the child begins kindergarten. Many of the infected children had not been properly immunized.

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