Far Rockaway, Queens – In light of multiple confirmed cases of mumps in Rockaway over the weekend, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D – Far Rockaway) is calling for cooperation from city and state health officials in an effort combat the outbreak and prevent the virus from spreading.
“We need to make use of our resources at every level of government to protect our families from the spread of this contagious disease. With the confirmed mumps cases, I urge our city and state health departments to coordinate efforts to contain this dangerous virus in Rockaway and ensure the health and safety of our families,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder.
In phone conversations with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Goldfeder urged the city to collaborate with its partners at the state Department of Health to make a concerted effort to prevent the current mumps outbreak from spreading beyond the three confirmed cases in Rockaway. Goldfeder also reached out to the state Department of Health to express similar concerns. The Assemblyman reported being pleased with efforts undertaken so far by both agencies and offered to assist in finding local community partners to provide space and on-the-ground logistical support should the outbreak grow.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, mumps outbreaks are rare and most commonly occur where people have had prolonged, close contact with an infected person. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches and loss of appetite. The virus occasionally causes complications which can range from inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or brain and spinal cord tissues (meningitis); to deafness.
This most recent incident follows an outbreak earlier this month of Legionnaires Disease in the Bronx. That health crisis, which killed twelve people and sickened more than one hundred, required a concerted effort between city and state health officials and led to new city regulations governing the inspection of residential cooling towers, which are believed to be the source of the Legionnaires outbreak. With his request, Goldfeder hopes to prevent this current mumps outbreak from becoming a larger concern.
“Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to dangerous outbreaks like this and I will continue to work with every appropriate agency to keep our community healthy,” concluded Goldfeder.