An outbreak of mumps across the United States early in 2017 has been closely associated with the college settings and crowded environments.
Mumps, according to the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), is a contagious disease caused by the virus that results into the swelling of the salivary glands. It takes a couple of days to show symptom for mumps which is common to the flu symptoms.
A factor contributing to the mumps outbreak is the close-contact setting in crowded areas, especially in classes and schools. Besides being in crowded environments among others, certain behaviors where there is an exchange of saliva can increase the spread of mumps as well as coughing.
The CDC states that “in recent years, outbreaks have occurred in schools, colleges, and campus.” Most of the outbreaks from 2015-2016 were from several university campuses. In 2015-2016 the CDC has reported that “two largest outbreaks were from Iowa and Illinois, each involving several hundred university students.”
Washington State Department of Health has already begun to report cases of mumps earlier this 2017 year. With about a total of 586 cases of current outbreaks in Washington State, their State Department of Health has warned against outbreaks in certain counties in their state such as Spokane.
CDC’s report of the mumps cases has increased early this year concerning health officials. Initiating ways to help protect against developing mumps by getting 2 MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccines.
According to the CDC, “two doses of the vaccine are 88% (range: of 66 to 95 %) effective at protecting against mumps; one dose is 78% (range: 49% to 92%) effective.” This vaccine will help against the current mumps strains found in the reported cases of mumps which should be enough to prevent mumps.
The reports of the mumps cases increased last year in 2016 with the 5,311 cases were reported less than 2015 which was below two thousand cases. Cases from last year are continuing onto this year and whether the increasing numbers of mumps cases are to continue later this year is uncertain.