The University of Missouri is just one location seeing a dramatic increase in cases of mumps, currently; 31 cases have been confirmed there, with test results still to come on 27 more people. Harvard University and the State University of New York have also reported outbreaks, and a scattering of towns in Arkansas have reported over 400 cases since this summer. With mumps being a self-limiting viral infection, the best urgent care clinicians can do is recommend supportive care (eg, greater fluid intake, bed rest, and refraining from acidic foods that could increase irritation). However, the outbreaks underscore the need to review patients’ MMR vaccine status. When young patients come in for any reason, ask if they’re up to date on MMR. If you don’t carry the vaccine, establish referral relationships with pediatric and primary care offices. Making that contact may also offer the opportunity to remind them that you’re available to treat their patients when appointments are hard to come by or after-hours care is necessary.
Mumps Outbreaks Highlight Need for Preventive and Supportive Care