MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- State and federal health officials in the United States are investigating an outbreak of mumps in Iowa and other states and report that two passengers who traveled on nine commercial flights on two airlines between March 26 and April 2 may have spread the infection, according to a report published April 14 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Patricia Quinlisk, M.D., of the Iowa Department of Public Health in Des Moines, and colleagues report that a large mumps outbreak started in Iowa in December 2005 and cases have been reported in Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin. There were 515 possible cases reported as of April 10.
Iowa investigators tracked down two air travelers infected with mumps who took multiple flights, and urged fellow-passengers to report any mumps symptoms to health authorities. A complete list of flights is available on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site.
"Persons on these flights who have symptoms consistent with mumps within 21 days of travel should be evaluated for mumps by a health-care provider," the authors write. "Health-care providers should remain vigilant for mumps among persons with parotitis or other salivary gland inflammation."