FREEHOLD – The Monmouth County Health Department is now investigating 22 probable cases of mumps in the county.
“Since yesterday, an additional 15 individuals with mumps-like symptoms have come forward,” county public-health coordinator Michael Meddis said. “The medical professionals advised these individuals to be on bed rest, increase their fluid intake and take steps to reduce their fever.”
Individuals in Monmouth County are from Asbury Park, Belmar, Farmingdale, Howell (4), Keyport, Long Branch (3), Neptune City, Tinton Falls and Wall. Individuals who reported hometowns from outside the county are from the New Jersey towns of Woodbridge, Saddle Brook, Ogdensburg, Emerson, Lawrenceville, Point Pleasant (2) and Port Saint Lucie, Florida.
Twenty-one of the individuals are adults and most of them have been either a patron at or an employee of D’Jais in Belmar in the last several weeks. The one youth is of preschool age.
The Monmouth County Health Department asks that those experiencing the swelling of salivary glands along with fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite seek medical attention and call the health department at 732-431-7456.
Meddis added that the investigation is continuing as new cases are presented and to determine the source of transmission and identify close personal contacts.
People who were vaccinated with the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine – as an infant and again between the ages of 4 and 6 – are 90 percent less likely to contract mumps, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Those with mumps – or most other illnesses – may take several steps to prevent spreading the virus to others, including:
- Wash hands well and often with soap, and teach children to wash their hands too.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
- Stay home from work or school for five days after your glands begin to swell, and try not to have close contact with other people who live in your house.
Other recommendations are:
- Minimize close contact with other people, especially babies and people with weakened immune systems who cannot be vaccinated.
- Don’t share drinks or eating utensils.
- Regularly clean surfaces that are frequently touched (such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters) with soap and water or with cleaning wipes.
Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared.
Most mumps transmissions likely occur before the salivary glands begin to swell and within the 5 days after the swelling begins. Therefore, CDC recommends isolating mumps patients for 5 days after their glands begin to swell.
Anyone who presents such symptoms should contact their health-care professional immediately.
More information about mumps is available from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html.