Mumps Vaccination Directive Issued in Arkansas

University of Arkansas employees required to confirm MMR vaccination status by January 13 2020

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The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) issued a public health directive requiring all University of Arkansas employees on the Fayetteville campus to be up-to-date with their measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccinations by January 13, 2020.

This new ADH directive issued by its medical director Jennifer A. Dillaha, M.D., was distributed on December 13, 2019, and is similar to the previous student directive, which focuses on taking actions to end the mumps virus outbreak. 

This ADH vaccination requirement is related to 32 mumps cases confirmed among the university community since September 2019.

Unvaccinated people are 9 times more likely to get mumps than are people with 2-doses of MMR vaccine, says the ADH.

As directed by this ADH directive, all University of Arkansas (UA) employees born on or after January 1, 1957, are required to submit documentation of MMR vaccination to the ADH, as directed.

But, anyone born before 1957 is presumed to be immune to the virus and is not required to show proof of immunization.

University employees who are not able to provide documentation of past doses of MMR vaccine have 3 options to comply with this ADH directive:

  1. You may be vaccinated and provide documentation of the recent MMR vaccine doses. Faculty and staff who receive the first dose can return to campus. However, you will need to receive a second dose of MMR vaccine 28 days after the first dose.
  2. You may ask your physician to do a blood test for mumps called an IgG and submit the result to the Arkansas Department of Health for review by faxing a copy of the lab result to 501-661- 2300. If the IgG test shows immunity to mumps, vaccination will not be required. If it does not show immunity, then vaccination will be required.
  3. Faculty and staff may apply for religious, philosophical or medical exemptions from this requirement by submitting an exemption application to the Arkansas Department of Health. 

University faculty and staff with exemptions and those who have not provided the required documentation by January 10th will be excluded from work and campus-related activities, such as sports or other practice events, parties, social events or other gatherings until the outbreak is declared over by the Arkansas Department of Health. 

A mumps outbreak is over when 2 incubation periods for illness have passed with no new cases. The incubation period for mumps is 26 days.

To facilitate this directive’s requirements, the ADH will be on campus this week to provide MMR vaccines and collect immunization records. The department's vaccine clinics will be held in room 1117 of Pat Walker Health Center.

For questions about the public health directive, contact the Arkansas Department of Health Outbreak Response Section at 501-537-8969.

Recent mumps outbreak news

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends those born in 1957 or later receive 2-doses of the MMR vaccine unless a medical condition prevents vaccination.

Previously, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices approved the 3rd dose of MMR vaccine for groups of people who are at risk because of an ongoing mumps outbreak. 

From January 1 to December 6, 2019, there have been 48 states and the District of Columbia reporting mumps infections in 3,252 people to CDC.

During 2018, there were 2,251 mumps cases confirmed by the CDC.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus that can be easily spread through coughing and sneezing, as well as from sharing food and drinks. It may take up to 26 days for a person to show symptoms after they have been infected.

If you experience symptoms, isolate yourself from others and call your medical provider right away. Do not go to class, work or public places says the ADH.

At the onset of a suspected mumps outbreak, patients suspected to have mumps should be tested by RT-qPCR to confirm mumps and rule out other possible etiologies says the CDC.

Private Mumps Testing at UltaLabs  <  

In the USA, there are 2 vaccines, MMR-II and ProQuad approved for mumps virus protection.

These vaccines are available at many pharmacies and doctors’ offices.

It is also available at all ADH local health units. For more information, go to health.uark.edu.

Mumps outbreak news published by Precision Vaccinations.