COMBATING INFECTION: Mumps makes a comeback

October 2006 
Volume 36  Number 10
Pages 18 - 19
  PDF Version Available!


Michelle Snow is working on her PhD in public health at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

In the first half of 2006, over 2,500 cases of mumps in 11 states were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the largest number of mumps cases reported to the CDC in a single year since 1991. In 2001 to 2003, fewer than 300 cases of mumps were reported annually. 1

The mumps outbreak is believed to have originated in late 2005 among college students in Iowa. About 38% of people who contracted mumps were young adults, but the disease spread to people of all ages. 1

What's behind the resurgence of this once-common childhood disease? Among other factors, the CDC cites poor compliance with the recommended mumps immunization schedule of two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Mumps can spread easily among susceptible people living in close quarters, such as college dormitories. In addition, many younger ...

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