HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – To tackle a growing outbreak of mumps, the state is recommending more people to get vaccinated, even if they’ve already been vaccinated before.
As of Thursday, Hawaii has seen 500 cases of the highly-contagious statewide, the state Health Department reported.
The large majority — 409 — have been on Oahu.
And in 12 cases, patients reported complications, including hearing loss.
To help prevent the spread of mumps, the state is recommends the following people born in 1957 or later get a dose of the MMR vaccine now:
- Those who last got the vaccine five or more years ago
- Those who received two MMR doses 10 or more years ago
- Those who don’t know if they’ve been vaccinated
Since children routinely receive their second dose of MMR vaccine before entering kindergarten, the recommendation for the “outbreak MMR dose” applies to adolescents and young adults, the Health Department said.
Those who have fallen ill include three UH-Manoa students.
In an email to UH students and faculty Thursday, the institution said it’s working with the Health Department to identify individuals who may be at risk for infection after coming into close contact with the students who contracted mumps.
While mumps spreads easily, it’s mostly preventable with a two-dose vaccine.