Fact Check: Mumps outbreak triggered a state of emergency in Honduras

Travelers visiting Honduras want to know if Mumps are a problem


On September 21st, 2018, the Honduran health authorities declared a mumps outbreak, reporting over 5,100 cases since January 2018.

This compares with just 138 mumps cases reported in Honduras during 2017.

According to reporting by teleSUR, the Honduran Ministry of Health announced a state of emergency for the northern department of Cortes, where 3,740 mumps cases have been reported.

Additionally, the Honduran Ministry of Health said ‘that there are currently over 3 million adults susceptible to the mumps virus because they never received the MMR vaccination.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus and is transmitted from an infected person through coughing and sneezing, says the CDC.

The time from being infected with the virus to developing symptoms can be as long as 25 days but is typically within 16-18 days.

The mumps vaccine is administered in combination with the measles and rubella in a two-dose series, which is 88 percent effective at protecting against mumps, while 1 dose is just 78 percent effective, says the CDC.

But, new research indicates the immunity from the MMR vaccination decreases over-time.

A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that vaccine-derived immune protection against mumps persists an average of about 27 years, after the last dose.

Which means, in addition to the currently recommended 2 MMR doses early in life, a 3rd booster shot may help sustain immunization among adults.

In the USA, from January 1 to October 6, 2018, 47 states have reported mumps infections in 1,885 people.