Three more cases of mumps have been confirmed on Oahu, the state Department of Health announced Thursday.
Two of those people are children and one is an adult. They contracted mumps from others whose sickness had already been confirmed, the department stated in a news release.
Fifty-seven mumps cases have been confirmed on the island this year, though none of those resulted in hospitalization, according to the department’s website. One case was reported on Kauai, DOH Immunization Branch Chief Ron Balajadia said.
Thanks to vaccines, mumps has decreased by more than 99 percent in the U.S., but that hasn’t prevented an outbreak on Oahu this year.
Balajadia said the department isn’t aware of any severe cases, and the patients range in age from 1 to 47.
“The classic symptom of mumps is swelling of the salivary glands under the ears, resulting in a tender, swollen jaw,” otherwise known as parotitis, the website states.
Fever, body aches, headache, fatigue and a loss of appetite are also symptoms, though some patients experience mild symptoms or none at all, according to the release.
The disease can be spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or shares eating or drinking utensils. It can also be contracted when someone touches contaminated objects and then touches their eyes, mouth or nose, the release said.
Balajadia said people who contract mumps should wash their hands often, get vaccinated and quarantine themselves to ensure family members don’t get sick. Most importantly, he said people need to “take it seriously.”
“(Mumps) takes people out of work, it takes kids out of school … it may come down to something worse than what it is now,” he said, adding people should “spread aloha, not germs.”
For more information on DOH’s ongoing mumps investigation, click here.
Mumps can be prevented by the MMR vaccine, which is 88 percent effective with two doses and 78 percent effective with one dose. Residents can locate a pharmacy that carries the MMR vaccine here, or dial 211 for the Aloha United Way information line.