The following report published on November 22, 2016, from the Arkansas Department of Health outlines the ever growing number cases of mumps in northwest Arkansas that has now moved to two counties in central Arkansas and an additional county in southwest Arkansas. In early September it was reported that 12 students in Springdale had been confirmed with mumps, the first mumps outbreak Arkansas has had since 2010 when there were five cases. Since early September the number has swelled to over 1,500 cases.
CURRENT CASE COUNT:
The ADH will now report all suspected and lab confirmed cases of mumps as part of the total case count.
Total Cases Under Investigation: 1,558*
*This is an active outbreak. Mumps case counts are provisional and include cases that are currently being investigated. Because this number is provisional, the numbers reported may occasionally decrease if lab tests are negative for mumps.
Throughout this outbreak, 90% to 95% of school-aged children and 30% to 40% of adults involved in the outbreak have been fully immunized. The vaccine is not perfect. Two doses of the MMR shot are about 88% effective at preventing the mumps. That means that if you have 100 people who are fully vaccinated, 88 of them will be fully protected. The remaining 12 will still be vulnerable to mumps. If it were not for the vaccine, however, we would be seeing many, many more cases of the mumps. Also, we have only seen a few cases with complications, like swelling of the brain or testicles. Normally, we would expect to see many more persons with complications. This tells us that even though some vaccinated individuals are still getting the mumps, they are experiencing mild disease. The vaccine remains the best protection we have against the mumps.