Confirmed cases of mumps in outbreak top 800

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the mumps outbreak in Hawaii continues to rage on, the state is renewing its call for adults to get vaccinated.

Mumps typically affects only young children, but the majority of those who have gotten sick in Hawaii are older adolescents and adults.

"We strongly recommend getting an outbreak dose of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, especially for those who live, work, or socialize regularly in crowded settings," said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist and chief of the Disease Outbreak Control Division, in a news release.

As of Thursday, there have been 809 confirmed cases of mumps in the outbreak, which started in March.

The large majority — 644 cases — have been on Oahu.

The outbreak is by far the worst Hawaii has seen in decades. Typically, the state sees fewer than 10 cases a year.

The state Department of Health said the outbreak began last March with two clusters of cases involving nine people.

It spread quickly and by May, additional cases included students and adults at Central Middle School and workers at the Job Corps Center in Waimanalo.

In September, a cafeteria worker got infected, prompting the state to pull lunches for some 2,500 students at three Mililani schools.

By October, the number of cases surged to 500 and the disease had reached all counties.

Kamaile Academy in Waianae even started the winter break early because several people had gotten sick there.

The school said it will remain closed until Jan. 16 to get past the "incubation period" for mumps.

Hawaii isn't the only state dealing with a mumps outbreak.

Washington, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and New York all reported more than 300 cases of mumps in 2017.

Additional information about mumps can be found on the DOH website. The most common symptoms of mumps include swollen glands, fever, muscle aches, headache, loss of appetite, and tiredness.

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