Although overshadowed by the rise in measle outbreaks in the U.S., instances of mumps, a painful, though rarely fatal, viral infection has also seen an increase.
Mumps in Close Communities
Mumps--previously, almost exclusively a childhood ailment--has been all but wiped out as a result of widespread vaccination.
Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
Since the two-MMR dose vaccination program was introduced in 1989, U.S. mumps cases decreased more than 99%, with only a few hundred cases reported most years.
However, since 2006, there have been several increases in cases and outbreaks about every 5 years
However, as recent events demonstrate, the mumps virus is still capable of causing small-scale outbreaks in close communities, even where vaccinations are required, with few exceptions.
As of April of 2019, Indiana University reported an outbreak of 16 cases of mumps among its student body, 9 of which were directly linked to a single fraternity.
According to CNN;
At least 16 cases have been reported at the Bloomington campus since February 12, IU spokesman Chuck Carney said Thursday.
Nine of those cases have been linked to a single fraternity -- the patients were either members of the fraternity, or had visited the fraternity house.
As it turns out--due to how mumps spread--schools, universities, and daycare centers are prime candidates for potential outbreaks.
How Mumps are Spread
Mumps can be spread through direct or indirect contact with an infected person through:
- Direct contact with a contaminated surface or person and then rubbing one's nose, mouth, or eyes.
- Oral ingestion of saliva or mucus, typically through the mouth after sharing a drink or utensil, or children sharing a toy, and;
- Talking, likely due to the typically higher concentration of viral matter in water vapor expelled while speaking.
Mumps Symptoms and Complications
Mumps is almost universally recognized by its primary symptom--painfully swollen salivary glands on one or both sides of the face but can be accompanied by:
- Painful chewing and swallowing.
- Muscle pain/soreness.
- Weakness/fatigue, and;
- Loss of appetite.
Complications resulting from mumps infections can range from dangerous to deadly, including:
- Orchitis - A painful swelling of the testicles that, on rare occasions, leads to male fertility issues.
- Encephalitis - A potentially life-threatening swelling of the brain.
- Meningitis - A deadly infection of the central nervous system, and;
- Pancreatitis - Typically involves extreme pain in the abdomen, followed by nausea and vomiting.
Additional complications, though rare, include:
- Hearing loss in one or both ears.
- Heart problems, heart disease, and an irregular heartbeat, and;
Green Cleaning Tips to Prevent and Treat Mumps Outbreaks
Cleaning in the event of, or to prevent mumps outbreaks requires adhering to a high standard of cleanliness and hygienic practices, including:
- Well-regimented hand-hygiene habits.
- Facility occupant education.
- Cross-contamination prevention procedures involving the use of color-coded microfiber towels and mops to prevent the accidental spread of the virus to other rooms or surfaces, combined with the 'two-bucket' cleaning method.
- Adhering to strict clean, then disinfect procedures.
- Proper disinfectant dilution and lay-time application.
- A careful and dedicated custodial team.
- Full, three-dimensional object disinfection, typically requiring the use of electrostatic disinfection appliances, and;
- A rapid response from officials, managers, business, owners, school administrators, and facilities maintenance teams.
References & Resources
- Mumps Outbreak Reported on University Campus
- Mumps - Wikipedia
- Mumps - U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Mumps - Mayo Clinic
- Video: Controlling the Spread of Germs
Mumps, much like measles, has seen a concerning uptick in infection rates over the last few years.
This increase has several contributing factors, including the efficacy of vaccinations and the proximity to, and the manner in which we engage with one another.
A great deal can be done to prevent the spread of infection through:
- Hand washing, and;
- Implementing a higher standard of cleanliness and hygiene throughout all facilities.
The failure of school administrators and business owners/managers to go beyond the basic requirements set down by the CDC and other governing bodies has, and will continue to result in public outrage and backlash, resulting in lost prestige and profits.
Instituting a clean for health first approach for your facilities, and then leveraging those efforts as a marketing tool to increase your organization's public image and appeal, has resulted in a tremendous return on investment for numerous schools, universities, and businesses.
If you would like more information regarding infection control and prevention services for your facility or would like to schedule a free, no-obligation onsite assessment of your organization's cleaning and facilities maintenance requirements, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253