Due to a decrease in the number of reported mumps cases, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announces the containment of the mumps epidemic. Containment of an epidemic means cases may still be occurring, however, there is a significant decrease in the number of cases and no new populations are being affected.
The IDPH emphasizes that Iowans still needing the recommended two doses of the mumps vaccine need to contact their local care provider. Two doses of the mumps vaccine is the cornerstone of mumps prevention.
The DPH commends local public health departments, the University Hygienic Laboratory, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for their diligent and aggressive work in assisting in the containment of this epidemic.
Fighting this disease provided IDPH and its partners a valuable opportunity for the implementation and testing of the public health emergency plans. The chance to utilize these plans with the mumps epidemic has enhanced IDPH emergency response for future outbreaks such as pandemic flu.
Mumps is a viral infection of the salivary glands spread through coughing, sneezing and sharing saliva. Symptoms including swelling of the glands close to the jaw, fever, headache and muscle ache. For most, mumps is a mild to moderate disease; however, there is a risk of severe complications including hearing loss, meningitis, sterility in men and spontaneous miscarriage.
Since the first report of mumps to IDPH, the state health department with assistance from the local health departments and the public health laboratory, monitored the disease, communicated with health care providers and the public about the epidemic and actions they can take to reduce the risk of mumps. Mumps resources, including a weekly case update report, can be viewed on IDPH's Web site, www.idph.state.ia.us.