Based on the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a mumps outbreak has spread across the United States. Since the beginning of this year, hundreds of mumps cases were reported. Starting with March 4th, the CDC received 1,242 reports of mumps cases. This is a contagious viral infection which can cause flu-like symptoms and swollen salivary glands.
In Washington, Seattle and King County Health officials argued that some students from the University of Washington who are all connected to fraternities and sororities have contracted the disease. Based on the data provided by the Washington State Health Department, this year, there were reported about 563 cases of mumps, indicating an increase from last year when there were only 154 mumps cases.
In Tulsa, state officials have analyzed five confirmed mumps cases. The Lake County Health Department in Illinois has announced that they developed a partnership with Barrington School District 220 to develop a vaccination clinic due to the fact that 4 cases of mumps and 35 possible cases were identified. Even if mumps cases occur every year, varying from a few hundred to even thousand, the high number will register this year had raised some concerns among health officials.
Camille Sabella, the director of Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, stated that usually, health officials get concerned whenever any type of outbreak occurs, especially when it comes to a vaccine-preventable disease like mumps. Kids receive two doses of the MMR vaccine which is considered to be the best vaccine against mumps.
Sabella claimed that this virus usually spreads very fast among students, especially college and high school students who live in tight quarters and may spread the virus through coughing or saliva. Even if the MMR vaccine is not 100% effective if children receive two dosages may benefit from enough protection prevent the illness.
If some only got a single dose, it is not late to get vaccinated with the second one to make sure they will avoid the infection. Several of the mumps cases which were registered this year are from a mumps outbreak which continued from 2016. Ian Branam, a spokesman for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, stated that last year about 5,311 cases were reported, marking the highest number of cases in a decade.
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