Alert: Mumps outbreak

DPH investigating mumps outbreak after February Baile Mexicano Dance at Chase Center on The Riverfront

Escrito el 23 Mar 2018
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The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is investigating a mumps outbreak among attendees of a February Hispanic dance festival in New Castle County. Officials have confirmed three cases of the mumps, all involving attendees of a social dance (Baile Mexicano or Mexican Dance) that took place at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington on Feb.10, 2018. DPH is recommending that anyone who attended the dance, contact their primary care physician to determine if they may have contracted mumps and if they and their family or close contacts need to receive vaccination against mumps.

Mumps is an acute viral infection spread through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or talking, sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others, and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that a substantial increase in the number of mumps outbreaks and outbreak-associated cases have occurred in the United States since late 2015.

Symptoms typically start with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands, which results in puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw. Symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but can range from 12 to 25 days after infection. Some people with mumps may not have any symptoms.

“We can prevent further spread of the disease through vaccination and are urgently asking anyone who attended the dance, whether or not they developed symptoms, and those living with persons who are confirmed to have mumps, to contact their primary care provider as soon as possible for evaluation for mumps and vaccination where recommended,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. DPH issued a Health Advisory to the medical community on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, to notify providers about the outbreak and provide guidance on reporting suspected cases and vaccination.

Those patients who attended the Baile Mejicano event, or who live with someone who attended and subsequently developed mumps, and who do not have health insurance or whose insurance does not cover the mumps/measles/rubella vaccine (MMR), should call one of the following DPH clinics: In New Castle County, call the Hudson State Service Center Immunization Clinic at 302-283-7587, (and select option #2) for an appointment to get an MMR vaccine; patients who live in Kent County and need vaccination may call DPH’s Kent County Immunization Clinic at 302-857-5140, and those in Sussex County may call DPH’s Georgetown Immunization Clinic at 302-515-3220.

People known or suspected to have mumps should stay away from school or work until five days after the onset of swollen salivary glands, as there is no specific treatment for mumps.

Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks. However, Mumps can occasionally cause complications, especially in adults. Complications include:

  • inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty; rarely does this lead to fertility problems

  • inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)

  • inflammation of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)

  • inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breast tissue (mastitis)

  • deafness                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Teens and adults who did not get the recommended MMR vaccines per the above schedule should be vaccinated so they are up to date. During outbreaks, CDC also recommends that those at highest risk due to exposure to people with mumps, should receive a third dose of MMR.


Mumps is a reportable disease in Delaware. Suspected cases of mumps should be reported to DPH via fax at 302-223-1540; email at reportdisease@state.de.us; or phone, 302-744-4990.  Providers are asked not to wait for laboratory test results to return before reporting.
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