Mumps outbreak in NJ

    Ocean County New Jersey is in the midst of a mumps outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it won’t subside for a while.

    Ocean County New Jersey is in the midst of a mumps outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it won’t subside for a while.
    (Photo: CDC Pubic Health Image Library)

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    More than one thousand people in New York and New Jersey have contracted mumps in recent months. For the most part, the outbreak has been isolated to orthodox Jewish populations.

    More than 100 residents of Lakewood, New Jersey have contracted the illness over the past few months. Boys’ schools have been especially affected.

    Greg Wallace is a research medical officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He says this is the biggest outbreak in the US in three years, and he sees no signs of it stopping.

    Wallace: Much like the outbreak in 2006, which occurred a lot in school dormitories, this outbreak is likely being sustained by close quarters in some of the schools being affected.

    Most of those who got sick had been vaccinated. Corey Robertson is the deputy epidemiologist for New Jersey’s health department. He says the vaccine still works.

    Robertson: The vaccine is thought to be 76-95 percent effective when people receive two doses. And for the most part we would probably see a much greater number of cases had it not been for the vaccine.

    Leslie Terjesen is the spokesperson for the Ocean County Health Department. She says case reports continue to come in.

    Terjesen: People who have any symptoms of mumps or have been exposed to it, we want them to certainly limit their exposure to other people. We want them to stay home from work, stay home from social gathering, family gatherings, etc.

    The CDC says the outbreak originated from a boy who traveled to the UK, where mumps is more prevalent. He brought the disease to a summer camp, where hundreds of other boys were infected.

    Mumps causes painful swelling in salivary glands, and can lead to swelling in reproductive organs.

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