Mumps outbreak: Bergen County, New Jersey jail placed on lockdown after suspected mumps outbreak

A correctional facility in New Jersey has been placed on lockdown following five reported mumps cases among inmates. No additional inmates will be accepted at the Bergen County Jail, and none will be allowed to leave. 

“So far no staffers are showing any signs of infection,” Bergen County Executive James Tedesco said during a press conference. “We have ordered the expedited delivery of 1,000 doses of MMR vaccines to administer to jail staff and inmates.”

The five cases have been clinically diagnosed but they have yet to be confirmed by tests. 

“Visitors, attorneys — we’re still going to allow that visitation, however, it’s going to be in a controlled environment where there’ll be no access to the inmates,” said Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton.

Jail officials told WCBS 880 the outbreak involves inmates in the general population and no those held on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

Earlier this year, more than 2,200 people were exposed to mumps in ICE detention facilities across the U.S. In Houston, seven adult detainees were diagnosed with mumps, having contracted the virus in February.

Mumps spreads through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets from the mouth, nose or throat.

Mumps is considered highly contagious but is highly preventable with a vaccine. Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands, according to the Health Department. 

The Centers for Disease Control considers people who received two doses of the mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine as children according to the U.S. vaccination schedule protected for life.