8 of 9 mumps cases tied to dances at Wilmington conference center


The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH)  has confirmed nine cases of the mumps as part of its ongoing investigation of an outbreak among attendees at a February dance festival in New Castle County. 

Seven of the nine confirmed cases either attended, or lived with persons who attended, a social dance (Baile Mejicano or Mexican Dance) that took place at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington on Feb.10.

 An eighth person was working at another Baile Mejicano dance, held at the same location,  on March 3, 2018.  DPH is still investigating the source of another person’s exposure to the mumps virus.

The Chester County (PA)  Health Department (CCHD) also a public health announcement regarding those who attended the Wilmington event.

Chester County’s Health Department Director Jeanne Casner requests that “Anyone exposed to mumps should contact their healthcare provider to determine whether they have contracted the illness and to assess if they and their family or close contacts need to receive vaccination against mumps.”

Delaware Public Health  is now recommending that anyone who attended either the Feb. 10 or March 3,   dances contact their primary care physician to determine if they may have contracted mumps and if they and their family or close contacts need to receive vaccination against mumps.

“With a confirmed case of mumps showing up in someone involved in a second – more recent – social dance in such a short period of time, we are stepping up our outreach to attendees, whether or not they developed symptoms, and those living with persons who are confirmed to have mumps, to contact their primary care provider as soon as possible for evaluation for mumps and vaccination where recommended,” said DPH Medical Director Dr. Awele Maduka-Ezeh. 

Mumps is an acute viral infection spread through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or talking, sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others, and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that a substantial increase in the number of mumps outbreaks and outbreak-associated cases have occurred in the United States since late 2015.

Those patients who attended the Baile Mejicano event, or who live with someone who attended and subsequently developed mumps, and who do not have health insurance or whose insurance does not cover the mumps/measles/rubella vaccine (MMR), should call one of the following DPH clinics: In New Castle County, call the Hudson State Service Center Immunization Clinic at 302-283-7587, (and select option #2) for an appointment to get an MMR vaccine; patients who live in Kent County and need vaccination may call DPH’s Kent County Immunization Clinic at 302-857-5140, and those in Sussex County may call DPH’s Georgetown Immunization Clinic at 302-515-3220.  

People known or suspected to have mumps  are strongly advised to  stay away from school or work until five days after the onset of swollen salivary glands, as there is no specific treatment for mumps.  

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