Hawaii has seen a spike in the number of mumps cases, the state Department of Health reported today.
Officials said they have become aware of two clusters of cases, together involving at least nine people from Oahu since March, raising the total number of confirmed cases this year to 14 across the state.
None of the infected individuals have needed hospitalization, officials said.
State epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said that because this disease is easily spread, additional cases are expected to surface in the coming weeks.
“There is no specific treatment for mumps infection and while most people will recover completely, mumps can occasionally cause complications, especially in adults,” Park said in a press release. “Cases have been reported in vaccinated individuals, but vaccination is still the best protection against this disease. We encourage everyone to review their immunization record and talk to their health care provider about mumps vaccination.”
People with mumps are most infectious in the several days before and after the onset of parotitis, or the swelling of the salivary glands in front of the ears.
The disease is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or shares items such as cups or utensils. Transmission can also occur when touching contaminated objects or surfaces and, in turn, touches the eyes, nose or mouth.
The Health Department recommends that people with mumps stay home from school or work for nine days after the onset of swelling to keep from spreading the disease.