The Delaware Division of Public Health 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 Mejicano, or Mexican dance — that took place Feb. 10 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. 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.
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 16-18 days after infection, but can range from 12-25 days after infection. Some people with mumps may not have any symptoms.
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, should call a DPH clinic. In New Castle County, call the Hudson State Service Center Immunization Clinic at 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 857-5140, and those in Sussex County may call DPH’s Georgetown Immunization Clinic at 515-3220.