Mumps outbreak in LA after dozens of gay men fall ill

Evrard Martin
Juin 3, 2017

Health officials have issued an alert warning people to be aware of an outbreak of mumps after over 40 people have come down with the illness in Los Angeles and the surrounding area. All of them are Latino and include members of the Colombian, Dominican, Guatemalan and Salvadoran communities. None is known to have traveled internationally prior to becoming ill.

Although most people recover fully from mumps, sometimes the illness can have serious complications if the virus infects ovaries, testes, pancreas, or the lining of the spinal cord. For the majority of the residents, vaccination histories are unknown; most are believed to be unvaccinated against mumps.

The DPH said they are investigating the cases and enforcing quarantines to control the spread of mumps.

DPH will be reaching out to Latino communities in MA to increase awareness about mumps and to encourage vaccination.

"MMR vaccination is highly protective against mumps and is recommended for children and adults", said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, referring to the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Mumps is spread through infected respiratory tract secretions among people in close contact.

There have been other pockets of outbreaks across the continent this year, including the University of Missouri, which reported more than 320 confirmed and probably cases earlier this month.

Although mumps is not a common illness in the United States, there are still some cases of outbreaks.

The disease is not considered life-threatening, but there could be lasting side effects, including the swelling of salivary glands and jaws.

The CDC notes that while mumps are "no longer very common" in the USA, outbreaks do occur particularly in places where people have had prolonged close contact with a person with the virus, such as school, dorms or sports teams.

The figure is 16 cases more than the previous total, which was reported Tuesday, and reflects some results received over the Memorial Day weekend.

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