The Delaware Division of Public Health said seven of the nine confirmed cases either attended, or lived with persons who attended, a social dance (Baile Mejicano or Mexican Dance) at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington Feb.10.

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed nine cases of the mumps as part of its ongoing investigation of an outbreak among attendees at a February dance festival in New Castle County.

In a press release today, DPH said seven of the nine confirmed cases either attended, or lived with persons who attended, a social dance (Baile Mejicano or Mexican Dance) that took place at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington Feb. 10. An eighth person was working at another Baile Mejicano dance, held at the same location, which occurred March 3. DPH is still investigating the source of another person’s exposure to the mumps virus.

DPH is now recommending that anyone who attended either the Feb. 10 or March 3 dances to 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.

“With a confirmed case of mumps showing up in someone involved in a second – more recent - social dance in such a short period of time, we are stepping up our outreach to attendees, 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 Medical Director Dr. Awele Maduka-Ezeh.

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.

WHAT ARE 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.

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.

MOST PATIENTS RECOVER COMPLETELY

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.

RECOMMENDED VACCINATIONS

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.

CASES SHOULD BE REPORTED TO DPH

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.