Vaccinated or not, the mumps are on the rise again — What you need to know


Last year, there were more than 6,000 cases of the contagious disease mumps reported in the United States — the highest number in 10 years.

>> Read more trending news

That’s according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends everyone 15 months and older receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, which protects against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella.

There’s been a more than 99 percent decrease in mumps cases since the pre-vaccine era and in 2010, the total annual cases were down in the hundreds.

But in recent years, there have been multiple mumps outbreaks reported across the country.

>> Related: Vaccine requirements for Georgia students

In fact, the number of reported cases increased from 229 in 2012 to more than 6,000 cases in 2016.

The last major outbreaks occurred in 2006, when the U.S. saw more than 6,500 reported cases, predominantly in the Midwest and among college-aged students.

Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 7 this year, 47 states and the District of Columbia have reported approximately 4,667 cases to the CDC.

Syracuse University in New York confirmed 37 mumps cases Friday, an outbreak that began in August mainly among athletes on campus.

According to Syracuse.com, to contain the outbreak, the CDC recommended those at risk receive an extra dose of the MMR vaccine, a dose that helped control a mumps outbreak at the University of Iowa in 2015.

What causes mumps?

Mumps is caused by a virus and is spread through saliva, mucus (from the mouth, nose or throat) via sneezing, talking, coughing, sharing items like cups or utensils or touching areas with unwashed hands.

Due to the close proximity of students and athletes and other people on a college campus, many of the recent outbreaks have occurred in college towns.

>> Related: Atlanta doctor: Kids who aren't vaccinated at risk for measles, more

“We are seeing it in other close-knit communities that tend to live closely together with strong social or cultural interactions,” including religious groups, Janell Routh, a pediatrician and medical officer on the CDC mumps team told the New York Times.

Common symptoms of mumps, according to the CDC:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (resulting in puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw)

These symptoms normally appear 16-18 days after infection.

If people are becoming immune to the MMR vaccine, should the two-dose program still be administered?

Yes, according to Routh. “We know that two doses of M.M.R. decreases your risk of serious complications,” she said. 

Such complications include inflammation of the resticles in post-pubertal males, inflammation of the ovaries and more dangerously, deafness and inflammation of the brain, she said.

>> Related: What is the flu? 17 things to know about flu symptoms, flu shot side effects and more

Additionally, the MMR vaccine also protects against the more serious measles disease and rubella.

The third dose recommendation is meant for those deemed high risk by public health workers.

If there is a mumps outbreak near me, what do I do?

Be sure your M.M.R. vaccine is up to date, inform your doctor right away and make good hygiene a priority by washing your hands often with soap and water.

What do I do if I get mumps?

According to the CDC: 

When you have mumps, you should avoid prolonged, close contact with other people until at least five days after your salivary glands begin to swell because you are contagious during this time. The time it takes for symptoms to appear after a person is exposed to the virus can range from 12 to 25 days. You should not go to work or school. You should stay home when you are sick with mumps and limit contact with the people you live with; for example, sleep in a separate room by yourself, if you can. Staying home while sick with mumps is an important way to avoid spreading the virus to other people. People who are infected with mumps don’t get sick right away -- it can take 2 to 4 weeks for them to show signs of infection.

Read more about mumps at CDC.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Killer details brutal murder, final minutes of NY jogger in police video
Killer details brutal murder, final minutes of NY jogger in police video

The accused killer of New York jogger Karina Vetrano was in court Monday, and a videotaped confession detailed the violet final moments of Vetrano’s life as her family listened and sobbed, the New York Post reported. Chanel Lewis, 21, calmly confessed to killing Vetrano on Aug. 2, 2016 in a video that was played during a pre-trial hearing...
Trump supports embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore, ‘He totally denies it’
Trump supports embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore, ‘He totally denies it’

President Donald Trump finally addressed sexual assault and harassment allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore Tuesday while speaking to reporters ahead of his departure for Mar-a-Lago, essentially saying he supports Moore in spite of the accusations. “We don’t need a liberal Democrat in that seat,&rdquo...
Reports: Uber paid hackers to keep the data breach quiet
Reports: Uber paid hackers to keep the data breach quiet

Uber reportedly paid hackers $100,000 to remove the data of 57 million customers they stole in a massive 2016 data breach, according to Bloomberg. Names, phone numbers and email address were among the data stolen. Around 600,000 driver’s license numbers belonging to Uber drivers were also compromised in the October 2016 breach. Social...
Armed man records Facebook Live during police pursuit
Armed man records Facebook Live during police pursuit

A man arrested after a Dayton police pursuit and crash recorded himself on Facebook, pointing a gun as he was being pursued by Dayton police.  A citizen who claims to have seen the Facebook Live of the chase before the post was taken down sent the Facebook video to WHIO.com Tuesday morning.  In the video, King Turner, 19, of Trotwood, Ohio...
'Saturday Night Live' women defend Sen. Al Franken after groping allegations
'Saturday Night Live' women defend Sen. Al Franken after groping allegations

More than 30 women who worked with Sen. Al Franken on “Saturday Night Live,” defended the embattled lawmaker in an open later Tuesday, writing that while working with him “not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior.” The women, including former SNL cast members Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, writers and producers...
More Stories