Ocean County Health Officials Investigate Mumps Outbreak – 30 Cases – in Lakewood

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lakewoodState and Ocean County health officials are investigating an outbreak of mumps in Lakewood. About 30 cases of the rare disease have been reported to the Ocean County Health Department in the past two weeks, with most of the cases involving young adults, county health department spokeswoman Leslie Terjesen said. Those infected are between 1 and 40 years old, with the average age between 17 and 20, she said.

The recent mumps outbreak was first reported last month here on Matzav.com.

Some of those infected may have come into contact with each other, then spread it to others, health officials said. No deaths have been reported.

The Lakewood cases have been primarily contained to one section of the township – officials would not be more specific — and most of those stricken had been fully vaccinated against the disease, Terjesen said. The vaccine is usually administered in two stages: the first dose in a toddler between 12 months and 15 months old, the second before age 5.

Terjesen said the outbreak does not involve a bad dose of vaccines. She said a person exposed to the mumps virus after receiving only the first dose of the vaccine has a 20 percent chance of contracting the disease. A person exposed after receiving the second dose has a 10 percent chance of getting the mumps.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, fatigue and loss of appetite followed by a swelling of the salivary glands. The parotid salivary glands — those below the ears and extending along the jaw — are most frequently affected, she said.

Mumps has been around for centuries. In 1968, before the vaccine, there were 152,000 cases reported in the U.S. After the vaccine became available that year, the number of cases dropped to 680 per year by 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Terjesen said that number has dropped further, to 265 annually, last year. Figures for New Jersey were not immediately available.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the most recent large outbreaks occurred in 2005, in Iowa and Oklahoma where the disease affected young adults rather than the traditional elementary-school age children.

The disease can be spread through sneezes, coughs and other exchanges of salivary fluid. An infected person can be contagious for up to seven days before showing symptoms and another nine days after the initial symptoms appear, according to the CDC website.

{NJ.com/Star Ledger/OC Health Department/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Yes, mumps is dangerous, especially for adults. It can also cause serious complications in children, such as viral meningitis resulting in brain damage, and other serious consequences.

    Get your children vaccinated. If you’re a young adult or adult and haven’t been vaccinated, talk to your doctor or local health department IMMEDIATELY.

  2. 2, agreed. I do wonder if the source is not kids who weren’t vaccinated, but kids who got a bad batch of vaccine. Is that possible? If so, I hope there will be alerts so other parents can check their kids’ records and see if they need to be revaccinated.


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