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Press Release

Press Release # 004-10
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

MEDIA CONTACT: (212) 788-5290
Jessica Scaperotti/Celina De Leon:

Health Department Reports Outbreak of Mumps in Jewish Communities in Brooklyn

Young adults, especially males, are increasingly becoming sick from mumps and are at higher risk for complications such as viral meningitis, hearing loss and reproductive problems

February 9, 2010 – The Health Department continues to identify mumps cases in Brooklyn’s Jewish communities and is encouraging young adults – especially males – in the community to get vaccinated unless they know they have been fully vaccinated in the past. As the Health Department noted in a December 2009 medical alert, young men in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park have experienced high levels of mumps for several months. As of February 8, the agency had confirmed 909 cases and was investigating an additional 344. Most cases have occurred in males and an increasing number of cases have been in young adults, ages 18 to 30. Complications from mumps can include viral meningitis, hearing loss and reproductive problems for men.

“Vaccination against mumps is important for your health, your family’s health, and your community’s health,” said Dr. Jane R. Zucker, the Health Department’s assistant commissioner for immunization. “Mumps can lead to serious complications in people who are not vaccinated, especially adults. If you have not been vaccinated against the mumps, or do not remember if you have received the protective vaccine, get vaccinated.”

Children should receive a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine on or after their first birthday, followed by a second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Families that lack regular doctors can call 311 for information on where children can get vaccinated. People 10 or older who have no record of past vaccination can get the vaccine on February 17 and 18 at the locations listed below. Each site will have separate entrances for women and men and will have separate staff members to vaccinate them. The staff will be culturally sensitive and respectful.

Wednesday, February 17
2 pm – 10 pm
The Marquis
575 Bedford Avenue (between Keap Street and Rodney Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Borough Park
Thursday, February 18
2 pm  – 10 pm
Anshe Sfard Hall
4502 14th Avenue (between 45th Street and 46th Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11219

People over 10 can also receive free or at low-cost MMR vaccine at any of these health centers:

Quality Health Center
432 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Call for times at 718-387-2408

ODA Health Center
14 Heyward Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Call for times at 718-260-4600

Borough Park
Ezra Medical Center
1312 38th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11218
Call for times at 718-686-7600

Maimonides Medical Center Primary Care Site
1250 57th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11219
Call for times at 718-283-5700

About Mumps

Mumps spreads by respiratory droplets through infected saliva that can be released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms include fever, body aches, headaches, and swelling of the salivary glands. The gland just below the ear is most often affected.

Among males, mumps can lead to orchitis, a testicular inflammation that causes pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting and fever. Among some women with mumps, inflammation of the ovaries or breasts can occur. Up to 15% of people with mumps may suffer headaches and stiff necks.

What to Do if You Become Infected with Mumps
  1. Stay at home for five days after symptoms begin.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
To Protect Yourself and Your Family from Mumps:
  1. Mumps vaccine is given on or after a child’s first birthday. It is combined with measles and rubella vaccines in a formulation known as MMR (measles-mumps-rubella).
  2. A second dose of MMR vaccine is recommended before children enter school at 4 to 6 years of age.
  3. Anyone who has received two doses of MMR vaccine is much less likely to develop mumps. But many adults do not remember their vaccination history and do not have records of it. Adults who are unsure of their vaccination history should get vaccinated.

If you have questions about where you or a family member can get vaccinated, please call 311. For more information on Mumps, please visit