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Published On: Sat, Sep 7th, 2013

Mumps confirmed in Monmouth County, NJ, dozens under investigation

The Monmouth County Health Department reports confirming the first case of the viral, vaccine-preventable disease, mumps Friday, just two days after the first announcement of the outbreak investigation.

“Lab results now positively confirm one case of mumps,” County public health coordinator Michael Meddis said. “Another 26 cases continue to be under investigation because the people involved have varying degrees of mumps-like symptoms that have not been confirmed or ruled out as mumps.”

vaccination

Proper immunization can prevent up to 95 percent of mumps cases. Image/CDC

Health officials say that most of the individuals have either been patrons or employees of D’Jais Bar and Grill in Belmar.

“The staff and management and ownership of D’Jais have all been very cooperative and most helpful in advancing this investigation,” said Monmouth County Administrator Teri O’Connor. “Additionally, the Borough of Belmar continues to assist as we work our way through this public health issue.”

D’Jais has voluntarily closed its doors to patrons for the coming weekend. D’Jais has received and carried out cleaning and sanitizing recommendations from the Health Department.

Of the confirmed and suspected mumps cases, with the exception of one young child, all the patients are adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by the mumps virus. Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, and is followed by swelling of salivary glands.

Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared.

Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection.

Mumps Photo/CDC

Mumps Photo/CDC

It is usually a mild disease, but can occasionally cause serious complications.

The most common complication is inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty; rarely does this lead to fertility problems.

Other rare complications include inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis/meningitis), inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breasts (mastitis) in females who have reached puberty and deafness.

 

Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.

People who were vaccinated with two doses the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, as an infant and again between the ages of 4 and 6, are 90 percent less likely to contract mumps, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The Monmouth County Health Department advises if you have mumps, or most other illnesses, there are several things you can do to help prevent spreading the virus to others:

  • Wash hands well and often with soap, and teach children to wash their hands too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Stay home from work or school for five days after your glands begin to swell, and try not to have close contact with other people who live in your house.

Other recommendations are:

  • Minimize close contact with other people, especially babies and people with weakened immune systems who cannot be vaccinated.
  • Don’t share drinks or eating utensils.
  • Regularly clean surfaces that are frequently touched (such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters) with soap and water or with cleaning wipes.

The Monmouth County Health Department asks that if you are experiencing the swelling of salivary glands along with fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite you should seek medical attention and call the Health Department at 732-431-7456.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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