Officials at the Bergen County, New Jersey, jail are dealing with an outbreak of the mumps and have put the facility under quarantine.
Six inmates have been diagnosed with the mumps, though doctors are still waiting to get back test results to confirm the diagnosis. The diagnoses were made by the facility doctor and medical staff in consultation with the NJ State Department of Health, the jail said.
County Executive Jim Tedesco has put the jail in Hackensack under quarantine for a little more than three weeks. No additional inmates will be accepted into the jail. Instead they’ll be sent to a jail in neighboring Hudson County.
The first mumps diagnosis was made on June 8, the jail said. No staffers have shown signs of the mumps so far, and 1,000 doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine have been ordered expedited to the jail.
Health officials will monitor anyone released from the jail, as well as facility staff, to ensure that symptoms do not appear, the jail said.
The best way to prevent mumps is with a vaccine, and the MMR vaccine is 88% effective when two doses are given.
The treatment for mumps is to reduce the symptoms, including fever, pain and swollen glands, as the virus runs its course in 10 to 12 days. There’s no specific antiviral treatment, and antibiotics are not effective.
It is caused by a virus
As of May 24, there have been 1,002 cases of mumps reported in the US this year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mumps is a disease that is caused by a virus. It is spread through saliva or mucus by coughing, sneezing or talking, and by sharing eating utensils or cups. It can also spread when an infected person touches items or surfaces that are then touched by someone else who picks up the virus. Outbreaks usually occur among people who have close contact, such as on college campuses and among sports teams.
Symptoms can appear 12 to 25 days after a person is infected and can include fever, headache, muscle aches, being tired and loss of appetite. The hallmark, though, is swollen glands under the ears that are tender. But not everyone has symptoms, especially if they are experiencing a mild case of the illness.
When there is a mumps outbreak in a facility where adults are detained, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Health Service Corps recommends the vaccine be given “to detainees with known exposure to at least one laboratory-confirmed person with measles, mumps or rubella.” It’s also recommended that catch-up vaccinations be given to those younger than 18.