Anchorage mumps outbreak surpasses 100, vaccine guidelines updated

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state health department says a mumps outbreak in Anchorage has surpassed 100 confirmed cases, and the department is updating its vaccination recommendations.

The state has confirmed 119 cases of the disease, with another 19 classified as “probable.” The state says a booster dose of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, if you haven't received two doses of the vaccine already.

The state now recommends a second dose of the vaccine for any school-age children who have only received one dose, and for adults who are at high risk of mumps exposure, like healthcare workers, international travelers, and post-secondary students.

For people in group settings where mumps is currently circulating, or for Anchorage residents who are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders, the state is recommending a second dose of the vaccine for anyone whose first dose was at least four weeks ago, and a third dose for anyone whose last round of the vaccine was more than five years ago.

The State says anyone with mumps should self-isolate by staying home and away from public spaces like school and work for five days after the onset of swollen glands.

The symptoms are tender, self-limited swelling of the parotid or other salivary glands lasting more than two days without another apparent cause. Headaches and muscle aches are also a sign.

[See the state's site about Mumps here]

It’s spread by direct contact with respiratory droplets like coughing and sneezing and incubation is between 12 and 25 days. The disease is most contagious between two days before swelling, and five days afterward.

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