This story was last updated 3/11/17.
Washington health officials have reported 400 cases of presumed Mumps in 8 counties.
Per the CDC, as of February 25, 2017, 1077 Mumps cases have been reported, involving 37 states and the District of Columbia.
Last year, 5311 cases were reported in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, with eight states reporting more than 100 cases this year. These are Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.
Mumps commonly affected individuals prior to the MMR vaccine implementation in the late 1960s. At the time close to 186,000 people were affected each year. Since vaccination, these numbers have drastically decreased, but outbreaks have sprung up sporadically.
What is “The Mumps”?
Mumps are caused by the virus, paramyxovirus, causing swelling of the parotid (salivary glands). Other symptoms include fever, malaise, headache, body aches as with many viral illnesses. The facial swelling can occur symmetrically but in 1/4 of the cases only one side may swell.
Its spread by droplet transmission, hence being exposed to someone’s sneeze, cough, saliva and symptoms may appear within a few days to a few weeks. The illness lasts on average 10-14 days but could last longer.
Complications of the mumps could include meningitis and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), orchitis (inflammation of the testicle), pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and others leading to infertility, deafness and in rare cases death.
Vaccination and avoiding those who are ill is paramount. The CDC had stated many newer cases of Mumps are occurring in individuals who have been vaccinated. Two doses are usually given of the vaccine when a child is between 12 and 15 months and then again between 4-6 years old. Some experts have suggested a possible third booster as the MMR vaccine is 88% effective. The MMR vaccinates against Measles, Mumps and Rubella. A newer vaccine, the MMVR also protects against Varicella (chicken pox).
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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician