Mumps in a highly vaccinated Marshallese community in Arkansas, USA: an outbreak report.
Lancet Infect Dis. 2019 Feb ;19(2):185-192. Epub 2019 Jan 8. PMID: 30635255
Virgie S Fields
BACKGROUND: During 2000-15, Arkansas Department of Health, Little Rock, AR, USA, investigated between one and six cases of mumps each year. From Aug 5, 2016, to Aug 5, 2017, the department received notification of more than 4000 suspected mumps cases in the second largest outbreak in the USA in the past 30 years.
METHODS: Arkansas Department of Health investigated all reported cases of mumps to ascertain exposure, travel, and vaccination histories and identify close contacts. Cases were classified as confirmed if the patient had laboratory confirmation of mumps virus or probable if they had clinical symptoms and either a positive serological test or a known epidemiological link to a confirmed case.
FINDINGS: 2954 cases of mumps related to the outbreak were identified during the outbreak period: 1665 (56%) were laboratory confirmed, 1676 (57%) were in children aged 5-17 years, and 1692 (57%) were in Marshallese people. Among the 1676 school-aged cases, 1536 (92%) had previously received at least two doses of a vaccine containing the mumps virus. Although 19 cases of orchitis were reported, severe complications were not identified. Unusual occurrences, such as recurrent parotitis and prolonged viral shedding, were observed mostly in Marshallese individuals. Viral samples were characterised as genotype G.
INTERPRETATION: This large-scale outbreak, primarily affecting a marginalised community with intense household crowding, highlights the need for coordinated, interdisciplinary, and non-traditional outbreak responses. This outbreak raises questions about mumps vaccine effectiveness and potential waning immunity.
FUNDING: Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.