(TLS Video of Channel 7 reporting about the outbreak at Yeshivah Toras Chaim in October) What has become perhaps the largest U.S. mumps outbreak since 2006 has hit the Orthodox Jewish community here hard, with 152 new cases since September, according to health officials. In all, there have been 159 confirmed and 70 suspected cases that have surfaced between Sept. 11 and Feb. 5 in Lakewood. It is the only location in the county where mumps has been reported, Ocean County Health Department Leslie Terjesen said. Fewer than four months ago there were only 15 confirmed cases. “We’re working very closely with doctors and leaders in Lakewood to make sure people with symptoms are isolated for at least five days,” Terjesen said.
CHEMED, a largely Orthodox-serving medical facility in Lakewood, has seen a steady rise in mumps diagnoses, said Karen Casey, the nurse manager. CHEMED’s monthly newsletter, InforMed, included an article about mumps in its latest edition.
The outbreak is thought to have started at an Orthodox summer camp in upstate New York last year and spread to Jewish enclaves in Brooklyn, Lakewood and upstate Rockland and Orange counties. These tight-knit communities face greater risk of an outbreak because of large families and close quarters. Zach Patberg/APP