Ad­di­tional vac­cine for mumps is urged by of­fi­cials

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - LOCAL & BUSINESS - By Kris­ten Con­sil­lio kcon­sil­lio@starad­ver­

State of­fi­cials are con­tin­u­ing to im­plore health care providers to ad­min­is­ter an ex­tra dose of the mumps vac­cine to pa­tients be­fore the hol­i­day sea­son.

State Epi­demi­ol­o­gist Sarah Park is­sued a sec­ond no­tice Mon­day, six weeks af­ter ini­tially no­ti­fy­ing pri­mary care physi­cians, emer­gency and ur­gent care doc­tors and nurses of the need for an ad­di­tional mumps vac­ci­na­tion due to an out­break that has grown to 557 con­firmed cases from 384 at the end of Septem­ber.

“This num­ber likely un­der­rep­re­sents the true num­ber of those in­fected,” Park wrote in the med­i­cal ad­vi­sory, ad­ding that nearly twothirds of cases are among adults. “With the hol­i­days rapidly ap­proach­ing and our in­ves­ti­ga­tions in­di­cat­ing per­sis­tent dis­ease ac­tiv­ity, the DOH rec­om­mends ad­min­is­ter­ing an out­break … dose to all per­sons now to help cur­tail this out­break as well as im­prove pro­tec­tion against mumps dis­ease and its re­lated com­pli­ca­tions.” There have been at least a dozen re­ports of or­chi­tis — in­flam­ma­tion of one or both tes­ti­cles caused by the virus — and four cases of hear­ing loss, she said, though symp­toms are mild to mod­er­ate in sever­ity for most pa­tients.

The DOH has ad­vised any­one who lives or works in crowded con­di­tions to get an­other dose to stem the out­break of the con­ta­gious vi­ral dis­ease spread by cough­ing, sneez­ing and touch­ing in­fected items, such as cups and uten­sils. Symp­toms of mumps re­sem­ble the flu and in­clude fever, headache, fa­tigue, loss of ap­petite and swollen sali­vary glands near the jaw. The “out­break dose” is rec­om­mended for ado­les­cents and adults born in 1957 or later who had two doses of the vac­cine 10 or more years ago, while those with one dose five years or more ago should re­ceive a sec­ond dose. The DOH rec­om­mends peo­ple who do not know whether they had the dis­ease or were ever vac­ci­nated to also get an ex­tra shot.

The Health De­part­ment is urg­ing peo­ple with sus­pected mumps not to go to school, work or pub­lic places and to wear a mask and avoid close con­tact with oth­ers.

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