On 3 January 2017 the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reported an active outbreak of mumps that is currently affecting areas of North West Arkansas.
A total of 2416 cases mumps are now under investigation. The ADH advised they are reporting all suspected and laboratory confirmed cases of mumps as part of the total case count.
In response the ADH is urging all Arkansas residents to ensure they are up-to-date on their Mumps, Measles, Rubella (MMR) vaccine, that everyone practices infection control by washing hands regularly and staying at home if they suspect they are sick.
In involved preschools, children under 4 years of age who have had at least 28 days since their first MMR vaccine can get a second vaccine early. Additionally, students with medical or non-medical exemptions that opt out of the recommended MMR vaccination will be excluded from school for 26 days or for the duration of the outbreak within that school, whichever is longer.
Advice for Travellers
It should be confirmed that children have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 4 months.
Consider vaccinating all unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves, particularly if they are going to be at higher risk. Two doses of MMR vaccine, at least one month apart, are required to give adequate protection.