PENDER – Over a month ago a notice was made aware of for parents and guardians of students in schools throughout the Northeast Nebraska Health Department District and in early October more cases of mumps continue to rise regularly.
According to a release from the health department who cover Cedar, Dixon, Thurston and Wayne counties, as of October 1 the count of confirmed mump cases is around 40. Mumps is very contagious and is spread by saliva. Symptoms include swelling of glands in the jaw and neck, earache, fever, jaw pain, fatigue, testicular pain and muscle aches.
Julie Rother is the health director at NNPHD and said health officials really need help from people who are sick to stay home.
“It’s kind of a long isolation period but if they don’t follow the guidelines then they’re exposing more people and just continuing the spread,” said Rother. “A lot of the people that we’re seeing right now that have been getting ill are in that adult age range.”
The majority of the mumps cases revolve around the Hartington area.
To help stop the spread, a MMR (measles, mumps and rubella vaccine) Booster Clinic will be held in the Hartington Community on Thursday, October 3 from noon until 7:30 p.m. The MMR vaccine will be offered to people who meet the criteria of being born between the years of 1957 – 2000 and live, work or often visit Hartington regardless of how many vaccinations they have previously received. Current data shows that the average age of persons getting mumps in this outbreak is 39 years.
People will NOT be turned away if they already have the recommended 2 MMR vaccines as a third dose would be recommended. But health officials add to not attend if they are feeling sick.
Health officials will continue to gather data by talking people who are sick.
“If we need to do another booster clinic in the future that is definitely something that we can do,” Rother added. “We’re working together with NENCAP, so after Thursday we’ll probably have some vaccine that could be available to them as well.”
Health questions will be asked prior to receiving the vaccine and people may be referred to their doctor if they have certain medical conditions. Persons who have received an MMR vaccine within the past 6 months do not require a booster dose.
NNPHD is working with Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and several local partners to offer this clinic to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Make sure to report all mumps cases to NNPHD by calling 402-375-2200 or 800-375-2260. For questions, visit www.cdc.gov/mumps or follow Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates.