The Department of Public Health and Social Services has been informed of mumps outbreaks in Hawaii and the Republic of Marshall Islands

For Immediate Release

June 2, 2017; 5:10pm

DPHSS Release No. 2017-053

The Department of Public Health and Social Services has been informed of mumps outbreaks in Hawaii and the Republic of Marshall Islands

The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) has been informed of mumps outbreaks in Hawaii and the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI).  In the latest reports received by the DPHSS:

  • RMI Ministry of Health reported that there have been 957 cases since October 2016. Majority of the cases (83%) are in the capital, Majuro. The number of cases in the outer islands is increasing.
  • Hawaii State Department of Health reported that there have been 65 cases of mumps in 2017.   Of the 65 cases of mumps, 63 cases live on Oahu and 2 cases reside on Kauai.  

Mumps is currently circulating not only in Hawaii and RMI, but also nationwide and in other international areas.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) webpage at: (https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/outbreaks.html) shows many mumps outbreaks and clusters, some of which have been on-going since last year. 

Mumps is a disease caused by the mumps virus and is characterized by fever, swelling, and pain/tenderness of the parotid glands and or the salivary glands.  Mumps is best known for the swelling of the cheeks and jaw.  Up to half of the people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms.  Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection.

Stay safe when traveling

The DPHSS recommends that persons traveling to Hawaii, RMI, or areas with on-going outbreaks or clusters, ensure they are vaccinated for mumps (given in combination with the measles and rubella vaccines) 2 weeks before departing.  With frequent travel of residents between Guam and Hawaii, it is possible that the disease may be brought here. 

Prevent the spread of mumps in our community

  • Ensure you and your family are fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine.
    • All children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, with the first dose given at age 12–15 months and the second dose at 4–6 years of age.
    • All persons born during or after 1957 should have documentation of at least one dose of MMR vaccine given on or after the first birthday.
  • Persons suspected or diagnosed with mumps should self-isolate and avoid going out and exposing others for 9 days after onset of parotitis (swelling of the salivary glands).
  • Person who have been exposed to mumps and are not vaccinated should not attend school, work, or travel from day 12 through day 25 after exposure.

All health care providers on Guam are urged to be on alert for possible cases of mumps and to promptly report suspect cases to the Immunization Program, Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, at 735-7143/7148 or 735-7135.  Furthermore, all health care providers are urged to review and update the immunization status of all patients they see.  If vaccination is contraindicated because of illness, schedule a follow-up appointment to update vaccination as soon as the illness is over.

For more information, please call the DPHSS Immunization Program at 735-7143.