Mumps cases on the rise nationwide - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Mumps cases on the rise nationwide

MARION, IL - A disease that the Centers for Disease Control says has been 99% eradicated from the country is making a comeback.  

Mumps outbreaks can happen anytime of the year but often occur in winter and spring.

In 2013, there were 438 cases of mumps reported nationwide for the entire year.

It's only May and we have already surpassed that number with 464 reported cases in 2014, and 82 of those cases have come from Illinois.

"Mumps unfortunately like so many other diseases is making a comeback," said Bi-County Health Department infectious disease specialist Leah VanHam.  "We believe it's a bit of the backlash of the anti-vaccine movement."

While most children receive the MMR vaccine before the age of 4, the disease is actually less harmful to children and in many cases simply runs its own course, but for adults the effects can sometimes be deadly.

"Adults usually get hit the hardest with complications," said VanHam.  "They're rare but they can include meningitis and in post-pubescent males it can event cause sterility."

Symptoms are vague: headache, fever, tiredness, and loss of appetite.
"15% to 20% can be asymptomatic so you may not have any symptoms," said VanHam.  "You might just feel a little cruddy and infect someone else.  The only way you can protect yourself against that is vaccination."

Many vaccines such as MMR are available at your local doctor or public health department at low cost.

VanHam says that even if you have been vaccinated before it helps to get a second vaccination as an adult.
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