Ongoing Mumps Outbreak in Hawaii and Areas of the Pacific

For Immediate Release

March 19, 2018; 3:45pm

DPHSS Release No. 2018-022

Ongoing Mumps Outbreak in Hawaii and Areas of the Pacific

The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) continues to monitor the on-going mumps outbreak in Hawaii and areas of the Pacific.  In the latest report received by the DPHSS, the Hawaii State Department of Health reported that there have been 929 cases of mumps since 2017.   Case count by island: 743 on Oahu; 49 on Kauai; 134 on Hawaii; and 3 on Maui.   The disease has been confirmed in children and adults, both vaccinated and unvaccinated.  Approximately 60% of cases have been in adults aged 18 years and older.

Mumps is currently circulating not only in Hawaii, but also nationwide and areas in the Pacific.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) webpage at: (https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/outbreaks.html) shows many mumps outbreaks and clusters, some of which have been on-going since last year. 

Mumps is a disease caused by the mumps virus and is characterized by fever, swelling, and pain/tenderness of the parotid glands and or the salivary glands.  Mumps is best known for the swelling of the cheeks and jaw.  Up to half of the people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms.  Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection.

Stay safe when traveling

The DPHSS recommends that persons traveling to Hawaii or areas with on-going outbreaks or clusters, ensure they are vaccinated for mumps (given in combination with the measles and rubella vaccines) 2 weeks before departing.  With frequent travel of residents between Guam and Hawaii, it is possible that the disease may be brought here. 

Prevent the spread of mumps in our community

  • A key part of protecting our island is to achieve high Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) immunization rates. The more people who are vaccinated, the fewer opportunities a disease has to spread.
    • Ensure you and your family are fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine.
      • All children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, with the first dose given at age 12–15 months and the second dose at 4–6 years of age.
      • All persons born during or after 1957 should have documentation of at least one dose of MMR vaccine given on or after the first birthday.
  • Persons suspected or diagnosed with mumps should self-isolate and avoid going out and exposing others for 9 days after onset of parotitis (swelling of the salivary glands).
  • Person who have been exposed to mumps and are not vaccinated should not attend school, work, or travel from day 12 through day 25 after exposure.

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All health care providers are urged to be on alert for possible cases of mumps and to promptly report suspect cases to the Immunization Program, Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, at 735-7143/7148 or 735-7135, and to review and update the immunization status of all patients they see.  If vaccination is contraindicated because of illness, schedule a follow-up appointment to update vaccination as soon as the illness is over.

For more information, please call the DPHSS Immunization Program at 735-7143.