Free mumps vaccination clinic planned for Springdale

Posted: September 20, 2016 at 11:23 a.m.

SPRINGDALE — The Arkansas Department of Health is offering a public mumps vaccination clinic tomorrow at Springdale's Jones Center as an outbreak of the disease continues.

The vaccine, which also includes protection against measles and rubella, will be available during the regularly scheduled flu clinic from 8 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to a department announcement. The department counted 196 confirmed or suspected mumps cases in and around Springdale as of Monday.

Updated numbers weren't yet available late Tuesday morning.

The vaccine won't cost anything for patients, in line with the department's typical vaccine policy, spokeswoman Meg Mirivel said. The price is covered by health insurance for those who have it and is provided free of charge for those who don't.

The Health Department recommends the vaccine to everyone who was born after 1957 and hasn't gotten the recommended two vaccine doses, according to the release. It's also recommending a third dose for children at least 10 years old who go to a school that's been affected by the outbreak.

The virus can cause fever, body aches and swollen salivary glands and can lead to complications such as deafness and nervous system inflammation, particularly in adults, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. It can also lead to painfully swollen testicles in males who've reached puberty.

Mumps is spread by coughing, sneezing or other exposure to infected saliva or mucus, according to the centers. Two doses of the vaccine protect 88 percent of the people who receive them from the illness and typically blunts and shortens the illness's symptoms among those who still catch it.