After slowdown, Arkansas mumps outbreak persists — case count now above 2,500

On Jan. 9, the Arkansas Department of Health increased the case count associated with a months-long mumps outbreak to 2,421, marking a five case increase since Jan. 3. The rate of increase indicated a potential slowdown of mumps transmission in the state. However, on Jan. 12, the state health department increased the number of cases in the outbreak to 2,524, marking a 103 case increase from three days prior.

The outbreak has been ongoing since August 2016. Currently, 30 workplaces, 29 schools across eight school districts and two private schools are affected by the outbreak.

The mumps are best known for painful, swollen salivary glands that cause puffy cheeks and swollen jaw. It is a highly communicable disease transmitted by person-to-person contact and is typically accompanied by initial symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite.

According to the CDC, mumps outbreaks in the United States hit a 10-year high in 2016.

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